Bovis, Persimmon, Imperial Brands and other big news
On 4 July Persimmon announced a 4% decline in first half revenue as the company slowed its sales ambitions under new CEO Dave Jenkinson in order to get its house in order.
This should have come as little surprise as a series of issues around executive pay and customer care put its right to sell homes under the Help to Buy scheme under scrutiny.
In a sense Persimmon is at the start of a journey already taken by Bovis under Greg Fitzgerald who assumed control of the operator in 2017. At Bovis he has helped address build quality problems and other operational challenges.
The average private sales rate per site per week at Bovis rose 15% to 0.6 in the first six months of 2019 although investors may have been frustrated at the lack of explicit guidance on margins.
Both companies are trading on substantial prospective dividend yields – Persimmon is on 12.5% and Bovis is offering 10.1%.
Another high-yield income stock, Imperial Brands (IMB), was actually rewarded for making its dividend policy less generous on 8 July.
While the 2019 dividend will increase by 10%, in line with expectations, from that point on the company is only committing to an increase in its annual payout in line with earnings growth.
The stock advanced to the £20 mark as investors welcomed an approach which was seen as more sustainable in the longer term.
Elsewhere, oil firm Energean Oil & Gas (ENOG) struck an $850m deal for EDF Energy’s oil business (4 Jul). The transaction will be financed through a $265m fundraise and $600m loan.
Currently focused on developments in Israel and Greece, the acquisition will add production and development assets in Egypt, Croatia, Italy and Norway. The news got a positive reception with the shares moving higher to 982p.