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Weir Worse But Hopeful

Weir Group WEI continued to worsen in the third quarter to the 31st October tough trading conditions every every division in decline. Minerals fell by 7%, Oil & gas by 10%, Flow Control by 4% and Continuing Operations by 7%, whether on a reported or like for like basis. Full year profits will be slightly lower than expectations but they reflect tough Middle East conditions and what Weir believes is the nadir for the North American Oil % Gas market and at least there were some signs beginning to emerge  that core markets had started to improve.

Royal Dutch Shell RDSA Third quarter income rose by 124% over 2015, as the quarter produced a strong operational and cost performance.  Lower oil prices however still presented a challenge. Basic earnings rose by 119% and return on average capital employed more than tripled to 3.8%. Oil and gas production was 25% up on 2015 quarter 3.

BP plc BP. Third quarter profits rose by well over 30% to $933 billion  but these are still only half of what they were a year ago, as the results are impacted by weaker prices and margins. Brent oil prices are down by over 10% compared the third quarter of 2015 and high stock levels have caused a steep fall in refining margins. Another sign of how bad things really are is BP’s claim that a fall of well over a third in underlying pre tax cost replacement profits compared again to 2015 quarter 3, is a resilient performance.

Go-ahead Group GOG enjoyed robust first quarter trading with no change  in expectations for the full year.

Money Supermarket.com MONY is on track for a record year with a rise of 12% in third quarter revenue, strong growth in insurance, which is continuing to acclerate and impressive growth in energy.

Firestone Diamonds FDI turned last years loss of US10.4m into a profit  of $13.6m for the year to the end of June and did so without having produced a single diamond. Production started last month and the first diamond sales are expected to take place in January 2017.  The project is expected to be 85% complete by the year end and the company claims that it is now well on the way to becoming a one million carat per year producer. The share price has risen from 15p last November to this mornings 56p.

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