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Lloyds Banking Group [LSE: LLOY]

Lloyds Banking Group has this morning announced the start of its share buyback program. This is another way of returning surplus cash to shareholders, rather than paying a cash dividend. The maximum amount that will be purchased is £1 billion, which accounts for around 2% of the company’s market capitalisation.


Aviva [LSE: AV]

We have another insurance and investment giant – Aviva – publishing its full year results this morning. The company has been endeavouring to simplify its business and this appears to be yielding results. Earnings per share are at the upper end of forecasts and 7% higher than last year, whilst the dividend has jumped an impressive 18%.

John Laing Group [LSE: JLG]

Private Finance Initiatives – or PFI – have been getting some stick of late with concern that governments are overpaying and suppliers under delivering, so this morning’s numbers from construction giant John Laing Group, which specialises in public sector work, will be closely followed. Profits have tumbled after the value of the company’s investment portfolio was rocked and a rights issue has been announced in a bid to raise £120 million. However earnings per share are in line with guidance, which could offer investors some reassurance.

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Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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