INSURER Admiral endured choppy waters in 2011, seeing its share price drop to a nadir of 800p due to worries about bans on referral fees and a profit warning in the latter half of the year. 2012 has seen better sailing, but the company will need to show signs that the increase in claims has slowed if it is to prevent even more investors from taking to the lifeboats. Still, steady rises in earnings and dividends make the shares attractive on an income level, which might help propel the shares forward. IG Index’s price for Admiral is 1,053.9p-1,057.1p.
Having announced a new chief financial officer in Andrew Bracey, Michael Page International will release full-year earnings today. Gross profits are expected to have increased by 25 per cent to £553.7m. Having reported a continued slowdown in profit, particularly in southern Europe, due to the weak financial recruitment market, the company is expecting to make up the difference in the emerging markets. It expects to announce new office openings in Colombia, Taiwan and Morocco. CMC Markets price for Michael Page International is 474.75p-475.75p
Crude oil has surged since the beginning of January. Raised tensions between Iran and the West combined with continued central bank liquidity provisions have pushed prices to levels last seen in May 2011. This has helped to lift BP’s share price close to a 12-month high. The stock also got a boost yesterday following news late on Friday that BP had agreed a $7.8bn settlement with 100,000 plaintiffs. Although BP still faces legal action from the US government, some uncertainty over the oil major’s financial liability has been removed. GFT’s latest quote for BP is 506p-506.1p.
Cobham, the aeronautics and defence systems firm, reports earnings this week with its share price poised for take-off. The shares have climbed steadily in a trend channel since November 2011 and may be about to blast through resistance and the year’s highs at 194p. Positive signs from technical indicators such as the RSI and MACD also support a potential break higher. Spread Co offers Cobham at 191.89p-192.37p.