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We look at the key announcements and how investors reacted to the news
Thursday 22 Nov 2018 Author: Daniel Coatsworth

Shares in FTSE 250 global healthcare business BTG (BTG) have soared by 34% to 823.2p after receiving a £3.3bn takeover offer from US rival Boston Scientific. The suitor is interested in BTG’s interventional medicine platform, pharmaceutical and licensing businesses.

Engineering conglomerate Smiths (SMIN) has finally decided to separate its medical division after years of toying with the idea. The medical unit is struggling and has never really sat comfortably alongside Smiths’ other divisions, which supply airport scanners and components and equipment to the energy and construction’ industries.

Details on the shape of the Smiths seperation will not be decided until next year. The share price rallied nearly 9% to £14.30 on the announcement. Smiths previously held talks over the sale of its medical business, most recently walking away from negotiations with Nasdaq-listed ICU Medical.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) has had a minor setback with lung cancer trials, although the share price reaction was minimal as expectations were low following a previous trial setback in July 2017.

Shares in British American Tobacco (BATS) have been burned by the US Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) submitting a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes, extending earlier share price losses amid speculation about the announcement. The FTSE 100 constituent generates circa 20% to 25% of its profit from the US menthol category.

After all the hype around its initial public offering (IPO) in October, Aston Martin Lagonda (AML) is finding it hard to win over investors. Its third quarter trading showed a jump in revenue as vehicle sales almost doubled, yet the stock fell nearly 10% on the day.

Peppa Pig majority brand owner Entertainment One (ETO) has taken a £57m hit amid the ongoing demise of DVDs. The value of some of its warehouse inventory has been reduced, and some of its library assets are now worthless. But this is a small issue in the bigger scheme of its business with adjusted pre-tax up 7% to £42m in the six months to 30 September 2018.

Consumer and business communications provider KCOM (KCOM) has issued another profit warning and slashed its dividend in half, prompting a near-40% decline in its share price to 57p. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is now expected to be circa 5% below expectations for the year to March 2019. Previous forecasts had already factored in an 8% decline year-on-year. (DC/SF/LMJ/JC)

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