Financial Times: BP beats expectations and boosts FTSE: Shares in Shell were helped by the results and firmed 0.4 per cent to 480p. Shell is due to announce its interim results on Thursday.” (ShellNews.net) 26 April 05
By Donna Haddaway
London stock markets opened steadily on Tuesday after strong first-quarter results from oil giant BP and upbeat earnings news on Wall Street which gave US stocks a boost on Monday.
The FTSE 100 opened 0.2 per cent higher at 4,874.2, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 remained flat early on, trading at around 7,019.6.
Overnight in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent to 10,242.47 and 1,162.10, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1 per cent to 1,150.78.
Back in London, Smith & Nephew led the FTSE 100 gainers up 3 per cent to 538.5p on news that its US peer Zimmer Holdings reported a 12 per cent rise in first-quarter sales.
BP also helped drag the market into positive territory as its shares rose 1.1 per cent to 545p. The oil company reported first-quarter profit-before-tax of $9.3bn from $6.9bn in the same period a year ago and recommended a dividend of 8.50 cents. BP Group Chief Executive, Lord Browne, said: ‘The current outlook is for some moderation of global growth towards trend rates through 2005’.
Shares in Shell were helped by the results and firmed 0.4 per cent to 480p. Shell is due to announce its interim results on Thursday.
Leisure group Whitbread fell 3.5 per cent to 886p after it warned that sales at its health clubs had slowed. The company reported full-year profit-before-tax up 9.4 per cent to £263.5m from £240.8m a year ago and announced a final dividend up 13.6 per cent to 18.35p. Whitbread said that despite signs of a ‘less confident consumer’, it still expects to deliver increased sales in the year ahead.
Imperial Tobacco lost 1 per cent to £14.64 as its first-half results failed to meet expectations. The group reported adjusted operating profit up 7 per cent to £598m and adjusted profit-before-tax up 10 per cent to £499m. Imperial recommended a dividend of 16.5p and said that performance was in line with expectations.
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