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The City News: Dixons Retail Plc (DXNS), Aviva Plc (AV), Enterprise Inns Plc (ETI) & More

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS), Aviva plc (LON:AV), Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI), William Hill plc (LON:WMH), BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT), RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA)

Aviva Plc

Dixons Says Profit at High End of Estimates on Increase in Sales (BusinessWeek)
Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS), the U.K.’s largest consumer-electronics retailer, said fiscal-year profit was at the “top end” of market expectations after fourth-quarter sales rose more than analysts predicted. …“This strong year puts Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) in the best position it has been in for many years,” Chief Executive Officer Sebastian James said in the statement. “Above all, we are enjoying the feeling of a little wind in our sails.” Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) fell 0.9 percent to 36.51 pence in London trading yesterday. The stock has gained 29 percent this year.

Dixons in ‘best shape’ as it gains market share from collapsed Comet (Retail-Week)
The electricals retailer, which owns Currys and PC World, expects group full-year underlying profit before tax to be at the top end of market expectations of £75m to £85m. In the year to April 30, like-for-like multichannel sales at Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) surged 7% and total sales jumped 6%. Across the year Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) worked on improving its stores, prices and customer service. Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) chief executive Sebastian James said: “This strong year puts Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) in the best position it has been in for many years. I believe that we have a clear business model that allows us to flourish in an internet world. I am very pleased to see us gaining share in nearly all of our multichannel businesses across Europe.”

Dixons Retail Given Overweight Rating at Barclays Capital (DXNS) (UtahPeoplesPost)
Barclays Capital reaffirmed their overweight rating on shares of Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) in a research note released on Monday morning, reports. They currently have a GBX 42 ($0.64) price target on the stock. A number of other firms have also recently commented on DXNS. Analysts at Nomura raised their price target on shares of Dixons Retail PLC (LON:DXNS) from GBX 23 ($0.35) to GBX 31 ($0.48) in a research note to investors on Thursday, May 9th. They now have a neutral rating on the stock.

Aviva New Business Value Rises On Stronger Contributions (FoxBusiness)
Aviva plc (LON:AV) said the value of new business for the quarter ended March 31 is at 191 million pounds ($290 million), up from GBP162 million a year earlier. Value of new business is a measure of the profits expected to emerge from new business, net of costs. “In the first quarter we have taken steps to deliver our investment thesis of cash flow and growth,” the company’s new chief executive Mark Wilson said. “Our key measure of growth — value of new business — has increased by 18% driven by actions to improve profitability in UK Life and growth in our Asian business,” he said. …Aviva plc (LON:AV) said its economic capital surplus was at GBP7.3 billion, up from GBP7.1 billion at end-December.

Aviva plc Receives “Overweight” Rating from JPMorgan Chase (AV) (Zolmax)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) reiterated their overweight rating on shares of Aviva plc (LON:AV) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, AnalystRatings.Net reports. The firm currently has a GBX 393 ($6.03) target price on the stock. Shares of Aviva plc (LON:AV) opened at 323.30 on Monday. Aviva plc (LON:AV) has a 52 week low of GBX 251.10 and a 52 week high of GBX 390.40. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently GBX 334.3. The company’s market cap is £9.492 billion. A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on AV. Analysts at Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) reiterated a buy rating on shares of Aviva plc (LON:AV) in a research note to investors on Friday, April 26th.

Should I Buy Aviva plc or RSA Insurance Group plc? (Fool)
Which FTSE 100 insurance firm looks the better buy, Aviva plc (LON:AV) or RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA)? Insurance companies tend to appeal to investors seeking a reliable dividend income. Given that both Aviva plc (LON:AV) and RSA Insurance Group plc (LON:RSA) have cut their dividends this year, I’ve been wondering which of these two firms offers the best income prospects over the next few years. …The first thing to note about these figures is that they don’t show the full impact of the firms’ dividend cuts. Both companies cut their final dividends for 2012, and indicated that cuts of the same size will be made to their interim dividends in the current financial year.

Enterprise Inns Given Buy Rating at Panmure Gordon (ETI) (UtahPeoplesPost)
Panmure Gordon reiterated their buy rating on shares of Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Analyst Ratings Network reports. The firm currently has a GBX 123 ($1.89) price target on the stock. Shares of Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) opened at 99.85 on Friday. Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) has a 52 week low of GBX 54.50 and a 52 week high of GBX 115.247. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently GBX 62.94. The company’s market cap is £498.6 million.

Enterprise Inns plc : Enterprise Inns says trading better after tough first half (4-Traders)
British pub group Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) said trading had improved in recent weeks after a weather-hit six months kept drinkers indoors and dented profit. The group, which has about 6,000 pubs across Britain and has been heavily focused on reducing debts of 2.7 billion pounds ($4 billion), said on Tuesday adjusted pretax profit for the six months to March 31 was 55 million pounds, down 14 percent on a year ago as expected. …Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI), which is investing in managers and pub improvements like free Wi-fi, is targeting underlying sales growth in the second half of the year and said like-for-like sales in the second half to date were down by around 1 percent, adjusting for the timing of Easter.

William Hill Rating Reiterated by Nomura (WMH) (DailyPolitical)
Nomura reiterated their reduce rating on shares of William Hill plc (LON:WMH) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, reports. The firm currently has a GBX 339 ($5.20) target price on the stock. William Hill plc (LON:WMH) traded up 1.51% on Monday, hitting GBX 435.90. William Hill plc (LON:WMH) has a 52-week low of GBX 243.568 and a 52-week high of GBX 437.00. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently GBX 314.1. The company’s market cap is £3.075 billion. William Hill plc (LON:WMH) has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports.

William Hill to operate sportsbook at Downtown Grand (CasinoCityTimes)
Fifth Street Gaming, developer and operator of the Downtown Grand, has signed a long-term agreement with William Hill plc (LON:WMH) U.S. to operate a race and sportsbook at the downtown Las Vegas casino, the company said Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal has to be approved by Nevada gaming regulators. The Downtown Grand is expected to open in September and is located on Third Street between Stewart and Ogden avenues, also known as Downtown3rd. The sportsbook will have a William Hill plc (LON:WMH) storefront and dedicated entrance on Third Street, with an outdoor look similar to the company’s 2,400 betting shops in the United Kingdom.

A Closer Look At BT Group Plc’s Dividend Potential (Fool)
Is BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) a solid pick for dividend growth? Dividend income accounts for around two-thirds of total returns, the actual rate of return taking into account both capital and income appreciation. Given that share prices are often volatile and unpredictable, the potential for plump dividends can give shareholders much-needed peace of mind for decent returns. I am currently looking at the dividend prospects of BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) and assessing whether the company is an appetising pick for income investors. …BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) has steadily ramped up dividend payments over the past four years, moving in line with robust earnings growth, with the annual shareholder payout accelerating over the period and breaching double-digits over the past 24 months.

BT Group plc : Public calls for choice when contacting government (4-Traders)
BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) and Avaya research finds that people understand the need for efficiency but still expect flexibility to choose contact channel when dealing with government Public sector organisations should be wary of restricting people’s choice in how they contact them, suggests new research from BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) and Avaya. While 86 per cent of people appreciate the need for efficiency only 28 per cent agree that making online self-service the exclusive contact channel for public services would be a good way for the government to save money and provide a good level of service.

3 Things To Loathe About BT Group plc (Fool)
There are things to love and loathe about most companies. Today, I’m going to tell you about three things to loathe about BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT). I’ll also be asking whether these negative factors make the telecommunications company a poor investment today. …Some years ago I got so frustrated with BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT)’s customer service that I switched to another provider, vowing never to go back to BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) again. Recently, like a woman who forgets just how painful her first childbirth was, I was tempted back for a second go. It’s still painful. The number of levels of automated messages you have to go through to get to the person you want to speak to at BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) is appalling and I keep losing my ‘free’ 1571 answer service for not making enough ‘chargeable calls’. Irritating.

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