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Today’s market overview

Equities are marginally down as some risk is taken off the table ahead of next week’s Fed meeting.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Sell recommendation JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has posted 7 per cent growth for the year to 28 July with profit before tax up by 6.3 per cent to £76.9m, record levels for the business. Like for like sales over the year rose by 5.8 per cent but have been tracking at 3.6 per cent in the most recent six weeks. Our recommendation is under review.

Tethys Petroleum (TPL) has begun drilling on the Doto exploration well in Kazakhstan, which is targeting 22m barrels of oil. Buy.

KEY STORIES:

Vodafone (VOD) has won more than 75 per cent acceptances for its offer for Kabel Deutschland, which means it can now proceed with the deal and buy up the rest of the stock.

The board of motor retailer HR Owen (HRO) has indicated its willingness to recommend an improved offer of 170p a share from Berjaya Philippine, increased from its previous offer of 130p a share. The bidder has been buying up shares in the market and its concert party already owns 41.5 per cent of the company.

The bid interest in oil services and engineering specialist Kentz (KENZ) has well and truly faded away with M&W Group today confirming it has no intention of bidding at this point, following the lead of Amec (AMEC), who withdrew earlier this week.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) has announced the acquisition of electrical equipment specialist Crestchic (Asia-Pacific) for a maximum of £6.6m alongside its half year results. These showed revenues rising by 31 per cent to £18.6m and profits up from £1.4m to £2.6m.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

Lamprell (LAM) has won a rig refurbishment contract worth $64m.

Engineering group Redhall (RHL) has issued a profit warning due to slower than anticipated order intake in its nuclear business.

GP surgery technology specialist Emis (EMIS) is to acquire software business Ascribe, which supplies primarily to the NHS through hospital pharmacies and A&E departments, for a mixture of shares and cash. A placing will raise £26.3m after expenses and shares and debt will take the enterprise value of the deal up to £57.5m.

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