Portfolio

Games Workshop flags jump in profit, Vodafone sells Indus Towers stake

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 19 Jun 2024

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open six points lower on Wednesday, having closed up 0.6% at 8,191.29.
Stocks to watch

Warhammer maker Games Workshop said it expected a jump in annual pre-tax profits to at least £200m compared to £171m a year earlier. In a very brief trading update, the company said core revenue for the 53 weeks to June 2 would be at least £490m, up £45m year on year and licensing income of £30m versus £25m in 2022-2023.

Vodafone Group confirmed several days of speculation on Wednesday, as it announced the sale of 484.7 million shares, or 18%, of Indus Towers, through an accelerated bookbuild. The FTSE 100 company said the sale raised INR 153bn (€1.7 billion), which would be used to repay its existing bank borrowings of €1.8bn related to its Indian assets. Post-transaction, Vodafone retained a 3.1% shareholding in Indus Towers, amounting to 82.5 million shares.

Newspaper round-up

UK households are expected to rack up extra unsecured debts of more than £1,600 this year, including on loans and credit cards, as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, according to a TUC analysis. The TUC said its analysis showed that unsecured household debt - including loans and credit cards but excluding mortgages and, for this exercise, student loans - was on course to increase by 9.4%, or £1,660, in real terms on average per household this year. - Guardian

A marine conservation group has initiated legal action against the UK government, claiming the Conservatives' decision to issue North Sea oil and gas licences without taking into account their impact on the environment was unlawful. Oceana UK, part of an international conservation organisation, said that in issuing 82 licences, Claire Coutinho, the secretary of state for energy security, and the North Sea Transition Authority, ignored advice from independent government experts about the potential effects on marine protected areas (MPAs). - Guardian

A British start-up that is preparing to launch robot factories into space has secured funding from the Nato alliance's $1.1bn (£870m) investment fund. Cardiff-based Space Forge wants to put satellites into orbit and use the low-gravity conditions to make crystals for cutting-edge microchips, as well as new medicines and super-alloys. The satellites would be the first in the world to be reusable, returning to Earth by unfurling a "Mary Poppins-style" umbrella upon completing their task. - Telegraph

Nvidia Corporation, the maker of chips used to power artificial intelligence, has overtaken Microsoft and Apple to become the world's most valuable public company. Shares in the chip-maker closed up 3.5 per cent, or $4.60, at $135.58, lifting its market valuation to about $3.35 trillion. The rally dethroned Microsoft from the top spot as investors bet on Nvidia continuing to play a central role in the AI market. - The Times

Smaller listed companies are increasingly going back to operating with all-male boards, according to newly published evidence described as "profoundly shocking" by campaigners for gender diversity in the boardroom. The number of companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market, or Aim, with no women on the board has jumped this year by 73 per cent from 108 to 187. That means all-male boards are running 35 percent of all companies on the junior market, up from 18 per cent in 2023, according to the analysis from WB Directors, a consultancy and networking group. - The Times

US close

US stock inched higher on Tuesday with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eking out new record highs on the back of yet more gains from Nvidia, which surpassed Microsoft as the world's most valuable listed company.

Nvidia was up 3.5% at yet another record closing high of $135.58, having risen 24% so far in June alone. The rise pushed its market cap to $3.34trn, topping Microsoft's $3.32trn and Apple's $3.29trn.

Nvidia's gains helped push the S&P 500 up 0.25% to a new high of 5,487.03, while the Nasdaq edged just 0.03% higher to a fresh record of 17,862.23. The Dow, meanwhile, rose 0.15% to 38,834.86.

However, gains were limited ahead of the Juneteenth US public holiday on Wednesday, with comments from a number of Federal Reserve policymakers likely also weighing on sentiment.

The head of the Richmond Federal Reserve, Tom Barkin, said it wasn't useful for the central bank to give forward guidance to the markets over interest rates.

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