Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Remote Monitored Systems
There’s an update from Remote Monitored Systems [LON:RMS], the company that saw its shares surge last year after the eventual acquisition of a University spin out which manufactured anti-viral materials which can be used in facemasks. Shares have been volatile, but new equipment has been under a commissioning process in the UK since early January. Commissioning was supposed to have been completed over the weekend but two engineers from the company who built the kit have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in isolation. This will push back bringing the kit onstream for a further 10 days.
Ryanair [LON:RYA] has reported its Q3 numbers this morning, covering the period to December 31st. Traffic was down almost 80% from the previous year, driving the business to a EUR306m loss from the EUR88m profit seen in Q3 2019. With lockdowns expected to continue through the fourth quarter, expectations for traffic for the full year are now at 26m to 30m passengers, down from the previously forecast outcome of ‘up to 35m’. Critically however the company believes the market will rebound quickly once vaccination programmes are underway and notes it has a strong cash position with EUR3.5bn on hand. With a series of cost cutting activities having taken place too, there is confidence in the note that Ryanair will lead the pack once the recovery does arrive.
Half year results from Hargreaves Lansdown [LON:HL] are out today, covering the six months to December 31st. All the key metrics continue to point in the right direction, with £3.2bn of net new business, 84,000 new clients onboarded, pre-tax profits up 10% and interim dividends being increased by 6%. The company notes a growing interest amongst younger investors with the average client age continuing to fall – the new client is now typically 37, down from 45 in 2012 – and again this bolsters the idea of sustainability in the longer term. With a slew of uncertainty – US Presidential election, Brexit and COVID-19 – failing to disturb growth, perhaps the one question to ask is when a more stable economic and geopolitical outlook does (hopefully) arrive, will demand for investment products start to ease off, or is this trend unstoppable?
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