Wednesday, March 20 12:51:00
The ISEQ index headed towards the 4,000 level this morning with steady gains in a rally that could see it reach its highest level in five years.
By 12:45, the ISEQ was up 49.48 points to 3,986.08.
European shares extended gains today, with traders citing Greek media reports that Cyprus had reached a deal with Russia on the sale of Cyprus Popular Bank to Russian investors as the reason for the rise. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose as much as 0.6 percent to a new intraday high of 1,201.91 points, before edging back to trade up 0.5 percent at 1,201.42 points by 1217 GMT.
Shares in Ryanair rose 21c to E6.29. Ryanair's order of 175 aircraft allows for renewed, controlled growth at 3-5pc per annum, facilitating an increase in EU market share from c.15pc to c.20pc, according to Davy. Given that Ryanair's cost base (ex-fuel) is c.50pc below that of its competitors, this should provide ample growth opportunity across Europe, the broker said. Volume order pricing is described as "not dissimilar" to the last agreement. "As we indicated in our January research note on the narrow-body aircraft market, slot positions were clearly available to the right buyers where there was an opportunity for bulk discounts to keep the production line going on the existing B737-800 NGs aircraft ahead of the production of the new, so-called Boeing MAX. The controlled growth will be funded from internal resources, and capex requirements should allow share buybacks/special dividends to resume when appropriate. The controlled growth should, in our view, protect unit revenue while enhancing the growth multiple. We therefore increase our price target from E6 to E7 and retain our 'Outperform' rating," said Davy.
Shares in Datalex rose 4c to E0.87 after it recorded a profit of $1.1 million (E852,180) in 2012. The company, which provides ecommerce and retail software to airlines and other companies in the travel industry, also saw its revenues rise by 15pc to $32 million. The Dublin-headquartered company includes Delta Airlines, Aer Lingus and Virgin Airlines amongst its customer base. Its 2012 results represent the company's first net profit in over a decade and its first as a publicly-quoted company.