Πρωταγωνιστές οι μετοχές τεχνολογίας στα ευρωπαϊκά χρηματιστήρια

Θετικά πρόσημα επικράτησαν σήμερα στα περισσότερα ευρωπαϊκά χρηματιστήρια, με τους επενδυτές να στρέφουν το αγοραστικό τους ενδιαφέρον στις μετοχές του κλάδου τεχνολογίας, μετά και την άνοδο που πραγματοποίησε εχθές ο Nasdaq στο χρηματιστήριο της Νέας Υόρκης.

Ο δείκτης Eurostoxx 600 έκλεισε στις 451,94 μονάδες με άνοδο 0,73%.

Στην Φρανκφούρτη ο δείκτης DAX έκλεισε στις 15.705,95 μονάδες με άνοδο 0,66%, παραμένοντας με σήμα strong sell, με την αντίσταση να βρίσκεται στις 16.488 μονάδες και την στήριξη στις 15.143 μονάδες.

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Στο Λονδίνο ο δείκτης FTSE 100 έκλεισε στις 7.271,96 μονάδες με άνοδο 0,19%, παραμένοντας με σήμα strong sell, με την αντίσταση να βρίσκεται στις 7.911 μονάδες και την στήριξη στις 6.972 μονάδες.

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Στο Παρίσι ο δείκτης CAC 40 έκλεισε στις 7.241,98 μονάδες με άνοδο 0,61%, παραμένοντας με σήμα strong sell, με την αντίσταση να βρίσκεται στις 7.599 μονάδες και την στήριξη στις 6.931 μονάδες.

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Εταιρικά νέα

Cake Box Holdings has seen continued positive momentum over the first half of the new fiscal year and is on track to meet revenue market forecasts for the year as a whole. The London-listed cake retailer also said Tuesday that Nonexecutive Chairman Nilesh Sachdev plans to step down in November to concentrate on his commitments outside the group. The board plans to start the search for his replacement. Cake Box said that franchisee store like-for-like sales for the 17 weeks ended July 30 were up 6.8% compared with growth of 5.4% for the first 11 weeks. The company said that it has continued to maintain tight cost control and taken proactive action to minimize the inflationary impacts on its input and administrative costs. The company hasn’t provided any forecasts for the year. However, adjusted pretax profit–one of its preferred metrics which strips out exceptional and other one-off items–is forecast to be 5.8 million pounds ($7.4 million) for the year ending March 31, 2024, compared with GBP5.4 million for fiscal 2023. Revenue is forecast to be GBP38.05 million compared with GBP34.80 million. Both forecasts have been taken from FactSet and are based on two analysts estimates.

Lookers reported a lower pretax profit for the first half on the back of higher finance costs. The London-listed motor-and-aftersales service group on Tuesday reported a pretax profit of 40.4 million pounds ($51.5 million) for the six months to June 30 compared with GBP49.9 million for the same period a year ago. The fall was mainly driven by increased cost of sales and finance costs, as the group booked GBP6.7 million of additional interest expense, it said. Revenue, however, rose to GBP2.42 billion from GBP2.24 billion, with all streams delivering growth and reflecting improved vehicle supply, Lookers said. The board has declared an interim dividend of 1 pence a share, in line with a year ago. “We are encouraged by our good first-half performance, particularly the resilience of the group in the face of rapidly increasing interest rates and persistent cost pressures. We maintain a strong new vehicle order bank moving into the second half of 2023 but remain cognizant of continuing macroeconomic pressures,” the company said.

John Wood Group said its pretax loss narrowed in the first half of the year, while revenue and earnings grew, and that its chief financial officer will retire. The London-listed consulting and engineering company said Tuesday that its pretax loss narrowed to $26.0 million compared with a restated pretax loss of $30.5 million in the first half of 2022. This missed analysts’ expectations of a pretax loss of GBP23.2 million, according to a Visible Alpha-compiled consensus. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization grew to $202 million from a restated $186 million a year prior, while revenue climbed 16% to $2.99 billion on growth in all units, the company said. Looking ahead, the FTSE 250-listed group expects revenue to be around $6 billion, while adjusted Ebitda is seen to be in line with medium-term targets of compound mid-to-high single-digit percentage growth. The company also said its Chief Financial Officer David Kemp will retire. A search for his successor is underway, and Kemp will remain in his role until his replacement is in place.

Mining giant BHP said its annual profit fell by more than half compared with a year earlier, reflecting a pullback in commodity prices that has squeezed profits across the industry as China’s economy stumbles and big markets like the U.S. grapple with sharply higher interest rates.

BHP, the world’s biggest miner by market value, reported a net profit of $12.92 billion for the 12 months through June. That is down from a profit of $30.90 billion a year earlier when it had benefited from the sale of its oil-and-gas business and when commodity prices were at or near record highs. BHP said it also continued to grapple with cost inflation, especially in labor, diesel and electricity prices.

Analysts expected a profit of roughly $13.30 billion, according to a Visible Alpha consensus compiled from 15 forecasts. The miner cut its final dividend to 80 U.S. cents a share, less than half the $1.75 paid a year ago. Shares in BHP were down by 1.5% around midday in Sydney.

BHP said its full-year cash payout of $1.70 a share is still its third-largest ordinary dividend on record. Analysts had forecast a total dividend around $1.72 a share, according to Visible Alpha. “BHP’s external operating environment in FY23 was volatile,” BHP said. “Our key commodity prices were materially weaker leading to lower revenue generation, while we also managed significant cost inflation across the business.”

BHP said its underlying profit, a closely watched measure that strips out some one-time items, totaled $13.42 billion, down from $23.82 billion in the previous fiscal year. Commodity prices fell on concerns about economic growth in China, the largest buyer of many metals and minerals, and the outlook for developed economies after sharp increases in interest rates. The miner was paid 12% less for its copper last fiscal year versus a year earlier and 18% less for iron ore, the key ingredient in steel.

The average price for its metallurgical coal, also used to make steel, was down by 22% after surging in 2022 in big part due to supply concerns when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted trade flows. Its own production was mostly higher. BHP produced more copper, iron ore, nickel and thermal coal than the year-earlier period. Its output of steelmaking coal was flat.

BHP’s weaker profit mirrored results from rivals including Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American. Rio Tinto, the world’s second-biggest miner by market value, last month reported a 43% drop in first-half net profit and cut its own payout to shareholders due to weaker prices. A drawn-out real estate crunch in China is especially worrying for miners, given the importance of the sector to the country’s economy and metals demand.

“The main risk for BHP in the near term relates to the Chinese economy,” Jefferies analysts said in a note. A continued downturn in the country’s housing market could depress commodity demand and prices, the analysts said. Another set of disappointing economic data for July along with a policy response that has so far underwhelmed have prompted a number of global investment banks to lower forecasts on China’s full-year growth rate.

“The authorities have acknowledged that more policy support is needed to fully embed the recovery,” BHP said. “For FY 2024, the key question is how effective this latest policy push will be.” Demand in China has, however, held up relatively well, the miner said, and it expects both China and India to be sources of stability for commodity demand in the near term.

By contrast, it took a more cautious tone on developed economies, where it said demand for commodities has slowed substantially in big part due to anti-inflation policies. “We anticipate that these competing forces may have a variable impact on commodity prices in the period” ahead, BHP said. While rising expenses also eroded earnings last fiscal year, increased costs industrywide should help put a higher floor under world commodity prices, BHP said. “Overall, the cost of mining production is now estimated to be higher than it was prior to the pandemic.”

BHP said it experienced an effective inflation rate of roughly 10% last fiscal year and projected further pressure in the year ahead, particularly in labor costs.

Altium shares hit a record high Tuesday after the Australian software provider’s fiscal 2024 revenue guidance exceeded market expectations. The stock touched 46.85 Australian dollars in early trade after Altium said it expected fiscal 2024 revenue of between A$315 million (US$202 million) and A$325 million. That was about 7% above the average analyst forecast prior to Altium’s fiscal 2023 results announcement late Monday. Shares were recently up 27% at A$46.71, still on course for their largest one-day gain in more than two years and a record close. Altium’s announcement of a multi-year contract with global semiconductor manufacturer Renesas was another positive, according to Goldman Sachs analysts. The agreement highlights Altium’s position as a key electronics-industry player and supports long-term expansion of its total addressable market, the Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

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