The co-founders of Burst Media saw shares of the online advertising company soar 19 .50p or a stonking 390% to 24.50p on news of a £18.5m or 25.08p a share cash bid from Blinkx, the world’s largest video search engine.
It made their 14.9% and 13.6% share stakes in the company worth £2.7m and £2.5m respectively.
Blinkx jumped 11.25p to a 52-week peak of 122p as analysts gave the thumbs up to the deal and to the company’s accompanying trading update. It continues to trade strongly in the second half of the year and management predicts a rise in full-year revenues to more than £37m, an increase of 90% on last year.
Mike Savage at broker Killik says the rationale behind the Burst Media deal is to offer Blinkx’s 35m hours of online video and TV to Burst’s audience of over 130m unique users, and take advantage of the significant pricing differential between traditional display banner adverts with Blinkx’s standard, untargeted video pre-rolls.
Savage has long been a fan of Blinkx and still believes the shares offer investors almost unique exposure to the monetisation of the explosive growth in online video consumption.
Encore Oil gushed to 122.50p before closing 6p better at 119p on revived rumours of a £527m or 180p a share cash bid from Premier Oil, 11p dearer at 2060.50p. Broker Westhouse Securities increased its target price to 166p after Encore’s recent announcement of an oil and gas discovery in the UK Central North Sea.
Relief that the second earthquake in Japan proved to be not as bad as first feared and soaring metal prices helped the Footsie rally 48.38 points to 6,055.75.
Miners featured strong gains as the gold price soared to yet another record, trading above $1.468 an ounce, while silver attained a 31-year high of $40 an ounce. A rising oil price boosts silver’s appeal as a hedge against inflation as well as being a cheaper alternative to gold. Silver miner Fresnillo jumped 38p to 1646p.
Gold miners Anglo American gained 125p to 3344p and Rio Tinto 139p to 4524p. Rio has finally won control of Riversdale Mining, allowing it to dictate development of Riversdale’s prized coal mines in Mozambique. Credit Suisse advised its clients that interdealer broker ICAP looks full valued as it downgraded to underperform from neutral. The shares dropped 21p to 519p. A JP Morgan Cazenove downgrade to neutral from overweight dragged support services group Intertek down 18p to 2047p.
Grand National weekend usually finds bookmakers in top form. Up to £1bn is expected to be wagered on major sporting events this weekend. It is estimated that almost half the adult population will have a flutter on the biggest single betting event of the year, with an average of £8 a bet. The US Masters golf at Augusta and a full Premiership football programme will also keep sports-mad punters glued to their TV screens and busy betting on the internet.
Ladbrokes, 0.9p dearer at 129.30p, was the first bookie to offer interactive betting over the internet and has had a website since the World Cup in 1998. As long as every favourite does not pass the winning post first, it should clean up. Its shares have been lacking a bit of form of late amid uncertainty about its intentions towards online gambling group 888 Holdings, unchanged at 46.00p.
The two have been in bid talks since December and earlier this week rumours suggested Ladbrokes had tabled a 70p a share offer which was rejected by 888’s major shareholders, the founding Israel-based Shaked and Yitshak brothers, who own 61% of the equity.
Highams Systems Services, whose chairman Ken Ford is the former boss of stockbroking firm Teather & Greenwood, firmed 0.63p to 3p. Results for the year to end March 2011 will be in line with expectations. Seymour Pierce forecasts a doubling in profits to £0.28m in 2011 and says the rating is undemanding for a specialised operator which has a strong client base in a niche market.
A positive trading update and news of a 3.5 year £70m bank facility helped Telford Homes edge up 0.50p to 77.50p. The company is launching its flagship scheme in Bethnal Green Road in the coming months. It will have 260 private units and will be located very close to the City of London. Fullyear figures will be in line with expectations.