Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Interim results from transport operator Stagecoach covering the six months to October 31st are out today. Revenues have almost halved as a result of COVID having changed travel habits, whilst the withdrawal from the train market also took a toll. Despite this however, the company just managed to scrape a pre-tax profit. Looking ahead, the note acknowledges behaviour has shifted with private car travel almost back at pre-COVID levels whilst public transport remains quiet. Expectations of management however are that government support will continue to ensure vital connectivity can be maintained and that in the long term, propensity to travel will return.
BATS has published its second half pre-close trading update which may provide some cheer for investors. Revenue growth for the period is now expected to be in the 1%-3% range, thanks to a reduction in COVID-19 headwinds plus higher than expected sales volumes. The company remains committed to developing next generation products and investors have been reassured of the commitment to pay out dividends of 65% of EPS.
The G4S bid saga continues with another update from the firm this morning. A counter offer to the revised 235p per share proposed by Garda World has now emerged, with Allied Universal suggesting they will now pay 245p. A reasonable bidding war from here would arguably be a good outcome for shareholders, whilst also offering a convenient exit route for management, too.
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