Full year numbers from defence and security contractors QinetiQ are out today, with the company posting a 21% increase in revenues, a 7% dividend increase and news that it would launch a £100m share buyback scheme. Management have also upgraded guidance for the current financial year to reflect both the momentum and the growing order backlog. As a result the stock is leading the FSTE-250 in early trade, up by more than 11%.


AJ Bell


The investment platform AJ Bell saw its shares faring well this morning after publishing half year results. Revenues added 27% whilst pre-tax profits jumped by 47%, enabling the company to declare an interim dividend of 4.25p, 21% higher than was paid out a year ago. AUM advanced 23%, although rising valuations provided a significant boost here, with inflows slightly lower than the comparative. The market cheered the news with the stock advancing just over 10% in early trade.


Hargreaves Lansdown


Financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown also saw an active morning’s trade following last night’s news of a takeover attempt and the board’s subsequent rejection  of the approach. Noting that the premium offered failed to fairly value the company and its future prospects, this has evidently left market participants thinking that a bidding war could now ensue. Shares traded as high as 1140p in early trade before retreating slightly to 1060p, up 8% on the day and well ahead of the 985p that had been offered by the suitor.


Headlines we expect on Friday


Intertek Trading Statement

This time last year Jan-April revenues £1060m