Insights

A concise summary of the major macro events of the past 24 hours, and selected UK company-specific news. Listen to the accompanying podcast, Market Prognosticator, for more detail.

April 5, 2023

Precious metals breaking out?

Macro & Overnight

Gold moved through the psychological $2,000 marker, partially reflecting a weaker $. If precious metals are forming a breakout pricing move, while gold is nearing its all-time high from August 2020, silver remains 50% below the spike levels of 2011.

US data revealed a slowdown in the number of job openings last month. Focus now shifts to the more widely followed payroll data on Friday.

Oil prices stabilised as concerns of a US slowdown countered last weekend’s OPEC+ production cutbacks.

 

UK Company News

Hilton Foods FY results showed revenue up 16.5%, volume growth of 4.3%, operating profit down 3.3% and eps down 26.4%. It delivered a healthy cash conversion and reported that trading performance since the beginning of 2023 has aligned with the Board’s expectations. The CEO is to depart as the Board launches a strategic review.  

Hilton illustrates the issues of running a commodity business in an inflationary environment. However, things have stabilised following last year’s warning. 

QinetiQ announced the renewal of the Maritime Strategic Capability Arrangement (MSCA) with the Submarine Delivery Agency for ten years, following the previous 15-year agreement. The £259 million contract also includes an option for an additional five-year extension. 

Serica, the North Sea oil and gas producer, gave a reserve update showing net upward reserves revision of more than three times the amount produced in 2022.

Speedy Hire updated that it is trading per the Board’s expectations. It has experienced some softening of demand in recent weeks. However, the operational review and management restructuring should improve efficiency and are in progress.  They will all be accounted for with a £6.6m exceptional cost that will deliver associated benefits in the region of £5m annually.

Topps Tiles’s H1 update reminded us that its profitability in the current financial year would be second-half weighted. Its business remains cash generative, with the balance sheet, cash flows and profitability remaining aligned with its expectations. 

Zoo Digital announced the minority buyout of its Korean subsidiary. See our note here

Fulham Shore has received a buyout approach from private equity at a 35% premium.

Wood Group are now engaging with Apollo regarding their latest offer of 240p per share.  

Prognosticator 

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