Dixons Carphone shares soared to an eight-month high after a glowing endorsement from analysts.
In a boost to the electronics and mobile phone seller, analysts at RBC Capital Markets yanked up the firm’s target price by 20p to 230p and also increased the firm’s earnings forecast.
The investment bank hailed the chain’s ‘strong fourth quarter and good momentum going into the New Year’, adding the new management team, led by former Shop Direct chief Alex Baldock, would improve its customer offering.
The World Cup in Russia this summer will also boost demand for televisions as punters look to upgrade before the biggest sporting event of the year kicks off, said RBC analysts.
Good call: Analysts at RBC Capital Markets yanked up Dixons Carphone’s target price by 20p to 230p and also increased the firm’s earnings forecast
However, the bank also predicted tough trading conditions in the mobile phone market, which it said is being held back by the escalating price of handsets and a lack of innovation.
RBC added: ‘Dixons Carphone has a very strong market position in both the UK and Northern Europe and we think it should show strong momentum in consumer electronics heading into the new financial year.’
Shares jumped 5 per cent, or 10.2p, to 214.2p – their highest level since August 2017.
The FTSE 100 ticked up 0.86 per cent or 64.45 points to 7567.14 while the FTSE 250 nudged up 0.28 per cent or 56.01 points to 20421.88.
Sticking with the FTSE 100, shares in education publisher Pearson soared to their highest level in more than 18 months with a first quarter trading update suggesting it had turned a corner.
The London-based publisher reported a 1pc increase in the first quarter, buoyed by solid growth in its North America business.
Stock Watch – Ncondezi Energy
Shares in power company Ncondezi Energy slumped after it tapped up shareholders for £950,000.
The firm issued 15.2m shares at 6.25p each on Friday.
It plans to use the cash to strengthen its balance sheet as it prepares to embark on a joint-venture to develop a thermal coal mine and power plant in Mozambique.
Michael Haworth, chairman, said the funds put the company ‘in a position of strength’ to finalise the deal. Shares slid 10.7 per cent or 0.8p to 6.65p.
Pearson said it was on course to report profits of between £520million and £560million for 2018, significantly higher than the £421million it reported last year. Shares leapt 7.7 per cent, or 63.6p, to 893.6p.
Games Workshop continued its seemingly unstoppable rise after revealing better-than-expected full-year profit forecasts.
In a trading update, the retailer, known for selling fantasy figurines to its legions of enthusiasts, said the ‘good growth’ experienced at the start of the year had continued in March and April.
The FTSE 250 firm is benefiting from a greater use of social media, the introduction of videos, regular product launches, an increase in stores and broader pricing, say analysts.
Broker Peel Hunt increased Games Workshop’s target price by 50p to 2450p and its 2018 earnings forecast by 6 per cent. Games has been one of the fastest-growing stocks on the main market, with its shares catapulting 150 per cent in the past year.
Its stock rose a more modest 0.2 per cent, or 5p, to 2445p on Friday on the back of the trading update.
Russ Mould, of broker AJ Bell, said: ‘The business has struck a chord with a new generation of fantasy fans and is engaging with customers via multiple channels.’
Box maker Smurfit Kappa reported a 7 per cent increase in revenue in the three months ending March 31 and said full-year earnings would be ‘materially better’ than in 2017. Shares edged up 0.9 per cent, or 26p, to 3048p.
EasyJet shares were lifted higher by solid growth in passenger numbers. In April, more than 7.4m people flew with the budget airline, a 4.7 per cent year-on-year increase. Shares rose 1.7 per cent or 28p to 1641p.
Vivo Energy listed on the London Stock Exchange in the largest London float this year and the largest Africa-focused float in more than a decade.
The retailer and petrol station operator began at 165p a share, valuing it at just under £2billion.
By the end of its first day of trading, shares had risen 4.5 per cent, or 7.5p, to 172.5p.