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March 12, 2015, 1:18 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 rises as drug makers, SABMiller advance

Morrisons pretax profit halved; TSB soars on takeover talks

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By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch


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U.K.’s FTSE 100 is moving higher Thursday.

LONDON (MarketWatch)—Strength in pharma stocks and brewer SABMiller PLC helped push the U.K.’s benchmark FTSE 100 higher Thursday.

Making a splash among FTSE 250 midcap stocks /zigman2/quotes/210598417/delayed UK:MCX +1.56% , shares of TSB Banking Group PLC  rallied by 23.5% after the lender confirmed it is in talks to be purchased by Spain’s Banco de Sabadell PLC /zigman2/quotes/206753237/delayed ES:SAB -0.10% .

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.49%  closed 0.6% higher at 6,761.07, adding to a 0.3% gain from Wednesday.

Among gainers, SABMiller   shares rose 1.7%. Morgan Stanley resumed coverage of the brewer with an overweight rating. Exane BNP Paribas said now is “arguably the best time” for Anheuser-Busch InBev SA /zigman2/quotes/203831500/delayed BE:ABI +0.17%   /zigman2/quotes/209225053/composite BUD -0.22% to finance a bid on SABMiller, given current conditions in the bond and foreign-exchange markets.

Although there are “limited synergies and execution risk, a deal would boost [per-share earnings] and more important, help solve ABI’s volume issue. Tempting. If a deal doesn’t happen soon, it may never happen,” wrote Exane BNP analyst François Mosnier, in a note.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC /zigman2/quotes/200381158/delayed UK:GSK +1.35%   /zigman2/quotes/209463850/composite GSK +1.48%  gained 1.9% after the drug maker said it plans to sell about half of its 12.4% stake in South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207056396/delayed ZA:APN -2.14% . Peer pharma company AstraZeneca PLC /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN -1.67% /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -1.17%  climbed 4.1%.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC  shares turned higher by 0.5%. They had sunk to the bottom of the FTSE 100 earlier after the supermarket chain’s fiscal 2015 underlying pretax profit dropped by more than half, to £345 million from £719 million. It also indicated a dividend cut. In fiscal 2016 it expects to pay a dividend of 5 pence per share or less.

Morrison’s results “are a miserable welcome for incoming CEO David Potts who will have his work cut out to deliver a quick turnaround for the retailer,” as it is “bearing the brunt of its £1bn investment in price reductions, which are spread across three years,” Himanshu Pal, director of retail insights at Kantar Retail, wrotec in a note. But positive developments come from a stronger supply chain and improved logistics that will help Morrisons compete against discounters and larger rivals, said Pal.

ITV PLC /zigman2/quotes/205378065/delayed UK:ITV -0.39%  climbed 0.7% as it said it has agreed to purchase Talpa Media BV for up to 781 million pounds ($1.17 billion). The entertainment show producer is behind programs including “The Voice”, and company founder John De Mol established “Big Brother.” ITV will make an initial cash payment of £355 million for Talpa.

/zigman2/quotes/210598417/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
23,238.17
+356.84 +1.56%
Volume: 264,554
Dec. 7, 2021 4:54p
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/zigman2/quotes/206753237/delayed
ES : Spain: Madrid
0.60
-0.0006 -0.10%
Volume: 32.61M
Dec. 7, 2021 5:38p
P/E Ratio
41.59
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€3.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
€281,406
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,339.90
+107.62 +1.49%
Volume: 704,818
Dec. 7, 2021 4:58p
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/zigman2/quotes/203831500/delayed
BE : Belgium: Euronext Brussels
52.13
+0.09 +0.17%
Volume: 1.90M
Dec. 7, 2021 5:35p
P/E Ratio
21.49
Dividend Yield
0.67%
Market Cap
€105.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
€251,227
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/zigman2/quotes/209225053/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 58.44
-0.13 -0.22%
Volume: 1.43M
Dec. 7, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.65
Dividend Yield
0.76%
Market Cap
$118.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$286,392
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/zigman2/quotes/200381158/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,575.80 p
+21.00 +1.35%
Volume: 5.85M
Dec. 7, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
18.46
Dividend Yield
5.08%
Market Cap
£72.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
£362,501
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/zigman2/quotes/209463850/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 42.38
+0.62 +1.48%
Volume: 5.51M
Dec. 7, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.04
Dividend Yield
4.72%
Market Cap
$95.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$464,855
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/zigman2/quotes/207056396/delayed
ZA : South Africa
21,800.00
-476.00 -2.14%
Volume: 2.36M
Dec. 7, 2021 5:12p
P/E Ratio
22.54
Dividend Yield
1.20%
Market Cap
101.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
4.15M
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/zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
8,223.00 p
-140.00 -1.67%
Volume: 2.25M
Dec. 7, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
87.58
Dividend Yield
2.46%
Market Cap
£129.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
£282,763
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/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 54.76
-0.65 -1.17%
Volume: 6.70M
Dec. 7, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
86.43
Dividend Yield
2.50%
Market Cap
$171.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
$362,602
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205378065/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
113.55 p
-0.45 -0.39%
Volume: 7.28M
Dec. 7, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
12.57
Dividend Yield
2.91%
Market Cap
£4.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Carla Mozee is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in London. Follow her on Twitter @MWMozee.

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