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ISEQ closes the week marginally lower

Friday, May 23 17:44:38

The ISEQ closed the week marginally lower as markets await the high probability of stimulus action from the ECB next month.

The ISEQ closed 6.6 points lower at 4,836.38.

The euro fell to a three-month low against the dollar and stocks and bonds in the region climbed, after a wobble in German business confidence added to expectations the European Central Bank will cut interest rates next month.

At home, shares in Total Produce rose 1c to E1.08 after it said that it has reaffirmed its target earnings per share and is on the lookout for new acquisitions. Total confirmed that its previously announced target adjusted earnings per share in the range of 8.40 cent to 9.40 cent remains unchanged. The group said it is continuing to actively pursue acquisition opportunities to further expand the group both in Europe and North America. Total Produce's AGM will be held later today. " We currently forecast EPS of 9.1c in FY14, which represents 4pc growth yoy. Given the relative maturity of the industry, organic growth is expected to be muted (2pc), though earnings growth should be supplemented by acquisitions over the course of the year. Total Produce's strong balance sheet (FY14 net debt / EBITDA of 0.3x) positions the group well to continue driving consolidation within the industry," said Goodbody Stockbrokers.