Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
A note this morning shows that management at William Hill [LON:WMH] have reached agreement with Caesars Entertainment to put forward an all cash offer to shareholders. William Hill owners will be asked to accept a bid of 272p per share, with the acquiring party focusing on the growth potential for sports betting and online gaming in the US. The bid will be welcome news for bargain hunters who picked up shares below 30p in March, but longer term investors may be less impressed.
Keeping with gambling, 888 Holdings [LON:888] have published bumper interim results today, too. These cover the period to June 30th and show a 37% increase in revenues driven in part by a 49% uptick in first time depositors. The shift by consumers to online services during lockdown is also acknowledged, with adjusted pre-tax profits rising 86% and the basic EPS jumping 130%. Shareholders are being rewarded with a 6% increase in interim dividends plus a special dividend of 2.8cents per share.
Boohoo [LON:BOO] has had a rough ride in the media, following revelations in the summer regarding working practices at some of its suppliers. Shares slumped off the back of this but have since regained that lost ground and interim results out today suggest that its consumers have shrugged off the negative news, too. Sales for the six months to August 31st are up 45% and margins have added another 70 basis points. That leaves pre-tax profits up more than 50% and the company sitting on £345m worth of cash. The company is upgrading revenue forecasts for the full year, but there’s no suggestion that the presumed increase cost for suppliers in meeting proper working practices will erode margins.
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