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UK pre-market stocks update – Vodafone, Shell, Pearson, Lookers

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By Samuel Indyk – At 07:29GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading higher by 0.4% at 7,470.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3419, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8318. The US Dollar Index is down 0.2%.

Bitcoin is trading at $37,038.

Today’s calendar highlights include Eurozone GDP, German CPI, Canadian IPPI, US Chicago PMI

Vodafone (LON:VOD) – Activist investor Cevian Capital has reportedly built an undisclosed stake in Vodafone. Cevian is reportedly pushing Vodafone to restructure its portfolio, enhance its strategy in key markets and refresh its board. (FT)

Pearson (LON:PSON) – Announced it has acquired Credly. Pearson previously owned a circa 20% stake in the digital credentials and certificates company. The purchase price for Credly, including Pearson’s existing stake, represents a total value of $200 million, which will be funded from Pearson’s existing cash and available liquidity.

EVRAZ (LON:EVRE) – Q4 consolidated crude steel output fell by 0.6% QoQ, mainly because of maintenance outages in November in North America. Total sales of steel products increased by 7.0% QoQ. Total raw coking coal production surged by 34.4% QoQ, mainly because of the completion of longwall moves at the Raspadskaya, Osinnikovskaya and Yerunakovskaya-VIII mines. Output of iron ore products climbed by 7.0% QoQ. Iron ore product output is expected to decrease slightly QoQ in Q1 2022. Steel production and sales volumes are forecasted to be relatively flat QoQ in Q1, raw coal production is expected to decrease QoQ.

Shell (LON:RDSa) – Confirmed the assimilation of the company’s A and B shares into a single line of ordinary shares.

Countryside Partnerships (LON:CSPC) – Countryside Properties has now completed its name change to Countryside Partnerships. Shareholders are unaffected by the change of name and existing share certificates should be retained and remain valid. Separately. PWC has resigned as auditors of the company. Deloitte are now the new auditors.

Lookers (LON:LOOK) – Constellation Automotive Holdings and related parties have purchased over recent days a total of 78 million Group shares, representing approximately 19.90% of the issued ordinary share capital. Constellation has been in contact with Lookers about its investment in the Group and has indicated its support for the Group’s recently outlined strategy and senior leadership.

Purplebricks (LON:PURP) – H1 revenue down 7% to £41.3 million. Gross profit down 11% to £26.2 million. Swung to operating loss of £11.1 million. Continued to see a significant imbalance between the strong demand for housing and a very limited supply of stock. Although housing supply has increased in January, expect these market dynamics to continue through the second half of the financial year, which will continue to impact instructions and gross margins.

Cranswick (LON:CWK) – Acquired the entire issued share capital of Grove Pet Foods Limited. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) – Angela Knight and Gwyn Burr to retire from the board of directors on 26th April.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering (LON:SPX) – Completed the acquisition of Cotopaxi Limited, in accordance with the details announced on Monday 24th January 2022.

Sirius Real Estate (LON:SRET) – Alistair Marks, current Chief Financial Officer, will be taking up the newly created role of Chief Investment Officer, while Diarmuid Kelly, current Group Finance Director, will join the Company’s board of directors as Chief Financial Officer.

XP Power (LON:XPP) – Acquired FuG Elektronik and Guth High Voltage, two complementary German businesses, from Dr Simon Consulting GmbH for a cash consideration of €39.0 million.

Great Portland Estates (LON:GPOR) – GHS Limited Partnership, one of GPE’s JVs, has let the final 8,900 sq ft of office space at its Hanover Square (NYSE:SQ), W1 development to international investment firm KKR.

UK pre-market stocks update – Vodafone, Shell, Pearson, Lookers

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