FTSE 100 movers: Tui trots higher on upgrade; Anglo and GVC go ex-div
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 7,191.67 in afternoon trade on Thursday as investors tried to get their heads around the latest Brexit chaos in the Commons.
Travel operator Tui was the standout gainer as Morgan Stanley bumped up its stance on the stock to 'overweight' from 'equalweight' following the year-to-date drop in the share price, as it highlighted an "attractive" valuation.
MS noted that the stock is down 33% year-to-date, which is a re-rating of about 20% on top of the earnings per share downgrades after the company's profit warning in February. MS argued that despite investor concerns, the dividend and balance sheet appear secure.
"We raise various red flags over Tui's earnings quality, noting weak free cash flow conversion due to the high level of JV/associates and elevated capex. Yet the dividend is around 1x covered, and there is significant headroom to the debt covenants, with decent liquidity."
Prudential was on the rise again, having gained a day earlier on the back of well-received results. The company said on Wednesday that a strong performance from its Asian business had boosted annual profits.
Operating profits came in at £4.83bn for 2018, a 6% increase on a constant exchange rate basis and marginally ahead of forecasts. The improvement was led by Asia, where operating profits rose 14% to £2.2bn.
On the downside, Anglo American, GVC Holdings and CRH were all weaker as their stock went ex-dividend.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals was on the back foot for the second day in a row following the release of its full-year results on Wednesday.
FTSE 100 - Risers
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 799.80p 3.87%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 494.50p 3.50%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,214.50p 3.27%
ITV (ITV) 135.30p 2.97%
Prudential (PRU) 1,590.00p 2.75%
Kingfisher (KGF) 239.90p 2.61%
Next (NXT) 5,234.00p 2.51%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 5,735.00p 2.50%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 256.75p 2.37%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,289.34p 2.34%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,947.80p -3.41%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 532.00p -1.85%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,559.00p -1.61%
Experian (EXPN) 1,998.50p -1.55%
Centrica (CNA) 120.70p -1.27%
Halma (HLMA) 1,627.78p -1.23%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 922.60p -1.22%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,735.00p -1.18%
CRH (CRH) 2,343.00p -1.10%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,619.00p -1.09%