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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross

McColls Retail Group

High Street newsagent and convenience retailer McColls has published Q4 numbers and a full year trading update this morning. The company has been struggling over the last 12 months in the wake of the collapse of its wholesaler. A shift has been in play to take goods from WM Morrison instead and whilst this move may have benefitted the supermarket giant, even with their support, profits for the year have been diminished. The loss of the wholesaler has also had other strategic impacts, although it’s worth noting that where the group has refurbished stores, average sales have responded positively.

Babcock International Group

Babcock has published a note this morning announcing to the market that a join venture it owns 50% of has been awarded a AU$1.5 billion contract over the next 15 years. The JV is to become the ‘Asset Steward’ of the largest vessels in the Australian Navy, building on Babcock’s existing relationship with the force.

Stobart Group

Stobart has a note out this morning covering a Q4 capital update – and perhaps more significantly a dividend review. The company is refocusing quite quickly and keen to conserve the cash it’s generating from disposals to fund further expansion. As such the decision has been made to trim the final dividend payment by 1.5p. The total payable for the year will be 15p, versus 16.5p a year ago. Investors probably shouldn’t be too harsh on the business here, but the proof will come at the opening bell.

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

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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