LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) was pulled in all directions this week, with the deepening Spanish banking crisis hurting indices across the continent, though the worst fears were somewhat assuaged by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and his promise to save the euro.
At the same time, U.K. company interim results were starting to flood in, and overall things really aren't looking too bad. Here are a few constituents of the FTSE indices that captured the news this week.
Pace (LSE: PIC.L ) climbed 35 pence (30%) this week, to reach 150.5 pence, after releasing halftime results and lifting its dividend by 15%.
The maker of pay-TV devices was hit by floods in Thailand that disrupted the world's hard disk supply. Interim pre-tax profit was knocked down to $21.4 million from $29.4 million. But net debt fell, cash flow improved, and the company raised its guidance for the full year.
Bloomsbury Publishing (LSE: BMY.L ) , the company behind the best-selling Harry Potter books, continued its climb this week. The price is now 11% up over two weeks to 130 pence, and 34% up on the year so far.
The shares were earlier hit by the ending of the Hogwarts saga, but the fall was clearly overdone. City analysts are expecting dividend yields of around 4.5% per year over the next two years, which currently puts the stock on an undemanding forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of around 10.
Miner Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L ) continued to suffer from the global slump in commodities prices, dropping a further 135 pence (6.7%) this week to 1,894 pence, after interim figures showed group revenue down by 19% to $16.4 billion. Reported pre-tax profit fell 55% to $2.9 billion, but the company was confident enough to raise its dividend by 14% to $0.32 per share.
With a forecasted P/E of under 7 for the 2013 year, Anglo American, together with the other FTSE 100 miners, could well be in bargain territory right now.
Oil and gas construction engineer Lamprell (LSE: LAM.L ) slumped by 49 pence (38%), to end the week at 19 pence, after releasing the latest in a string of profit warnings. Back in May, the price was crushed, falling from a month's high of 367 pence to 99 pence, when the firm warned of a first-half loss and full-year results "considerably below the Board's original expectation," after experiencing project delays.
In June we were told the interim loss would be around $15 million to $20 million, but that estimate was raised this week to $45 million, and there's likely to be a full-year loss now, too.
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