Global share trading was light for the May Day holiday though US shares on Monday showed energy: Apple shares were up more than 2% to $146.58. Other tech companies, including Microsoft and Facebook, also gained strongly. The Nasdaq hit a record 6,091.6 high.
Rolling back to Friday, the FTSE 100 was down -0.46% at 7,203.94 with Barclays shares plummeting 5.2% after first quarter profits disappointed. However RBS shares gained 4.7% following first quarter profits of £259m. The pound finished Friday just above the $1.29 mark – a seven-month high.
Robust BP earnings
The big news this morning is BP with first quarter earnings coming in stronger than earlier expectations. Profits climbed to $1.51bn compared to $532m this time last year, helped by higher oil prices. Analysts questioned by Bloomberg were expecting profits closer to $1.2bn.
“It was another strong quarter for the Downstream and the first of our seven new Upstream major projects has started up, with a further three near completion,” chief executive Bob Dudley said.
Dudley says he expected a material improvement in operating cash flow from the second half of the year. The new BP numbers also reflect better sentiment from rivals Chevron and ExxonMobil. Both saw substantially better results last week.
Just Eat upgraded
We move onto online food delivery operator Just Eat. Reported revenues are up 46% to £118.9mn. Total orders hit 39m (Q1 2016: 31.5m), a 25% like-for-like basis increase claims Just Eat.
“In addition to structural market growth, we are also seeing the benefits of ongoing investments in technology and marketing,” interim CEO Paul Harrison says.
Last week Citigroup stuck a Buy rating on Just East with a 780p target price on the stock (currently around 573p). A 36% potential rise – if proved right. Credit Suisse have also stuck an Outperform rating on the company.
Bovis hit by profits warning
Lastly, UK house builder Bovis – and a new profits warning. Bovis says it will take a £2.8m hit from merger proposal fees linked to earlier Redrow and Galliford Try discussions in April. Current trading for the year remains in line expectations it says however.
“We have opened eight new sites in the period and are currently operating from 95 active outlets,” chief exec Greg Fitzgerald said. “We expect our average number of active sites to remain stable for 2017.”
Last week Fitzgerald – who just commenced his job as Bovis CEO – snapped up more than 134,000 shares at £9.26.