April 10, 2015

Most followed: Alba Mineral Resources, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Mulberry Group, Rockhopper, UK OIl...

The Horse Hill discovery has legs, judging by the news this morning from the consortium drilling the prospect in southern England.


The share prices of the listed consortium members - UK Oil and Gas (LON:UKOG), Solo Oil (LON:SOLO), Doriemus (LON:DOR and Alba Minerals (LON:ALBA) - all moved forward at the old giddy-up, as rocketed higher as UKOG said said it had potentially found 100bn barrels of oil.


The coverage is not quite up there in the Shell/BG Group stratosphere witnessed yesterday, but the BBC has been interviewing UK Oil & Gas's boss, Stephen Sanderson, and that does not happen every day.


Elsewhere in the sector, Gulf Keystone (LON:GKP) does not normally lack for publicity, and this morning's 2014 results announcement has attracted interest, though little share price action.


The Kurdistan-focused oil producer unveiled a huge widening of its 2014 loss to US$248.2mln from US$32mln in 2013 as it is still owed millions for crude exports.


The deeper losses were widely expected, and investors were probably more interested in whether anyone is close to buying some or all of the company yet; GKP said talks are still in progress.


Another energy firm, Rockhopper (LON:RKH), has its own loyal following, and they have been clicking on the news story about the company's latest exploits in the North Falklands.


The oiler reported that the 14/20-1 'Isobel Deep' well was spudded by Premier Oil, the operator, at 22:20 local time on the 8th April 2015.


I am not sure why we need to have the hour of day at which the well was spudded, unless it is to keep track of overtime.


The Co-operative Group, which yesterday was in the news because its ranking in the supermarket league table is under threat from Aldi, has sprung a pleasant surprise with a return to profit.


Despite the Co-op being a mutual society rather than a plc, the story is still proving popular on the investment sites, with punters tuning in to learn the society turned in a pre-tax profit of £124mln in 2014, versus a loss of £255mln the year before.


The core food convenience business delivered a like-for-like sales increase of 3.2%, with like-for-like sales up 0.4% overall for the food business.


There were robust performances in Food and Funerals, but these were offset by losses in General Insurance.


There is a bit of beating around the Mulberry (LON:MUL) bush as investors check out the trading update from the troubled handbag pedlar.


Revenue for the year ended 31 March 2015 will be in line with expectations at £148 million, albeit down from the previous year's £163 million.


"The encouraging Retail trends over the last five months reflect our reinvigorated product offer and focus upon our customers," said Godfrey Davis, chairman of the firm.



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