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Trending tickers: Rolls-Royce, Anglo American, WPP, Mercedes-Benz

The latest investor updates on stocks that are trending on Thursday

Undated handout file photo issued by Rolls Royce of a worker with the company's MT30 engine. Engine-maker Rolls-Royce has said cost cutting plans that will see it axe up to 2,500 jobs by the end of next year were
Rolls-Royce returns to profit amid turnaround (PA)

Rolls-Royce (RR.L)

Engine-maker has said cost-cutting plans that will see it axe up to 2,500 jobs by the end of next year were “well under way” as it swung to a £2.4bn ($3.04bn) annual profit.

The aerospace engineering specialist reported the statutory pre-tax profits for 2023 against losses of £1.5bn in 2022, boosted by cost savings and better-than-expected revenues.

Underlying operating profits more than doubled to £1.6bn for 2023, up from £652m the previous year, as revenues jumped 22% to £16.5bn.

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Rolls said it had already delivered around £150m of its £400m to £500m cost savings target announced in October, when it revealed that between 2,000 to 2,500 roles would go as part of the plans.

CEO Tufan Erginbilgic said: "We are unlocking our full potential as a high-performing, competitive, resilient, and growing Rolls-Royce."

Anglo American (AAL.L)

The embattled miner cut its dividend after posting a 94% plunge in its annual profit and booked $2.1bn in impairments as it faces weak commodity markets across its portfolio.

The London-listed miner's 2023 profit attributable to shareholders fell to $283m from $4.5bn a year earlier. This significantly missed analysts’ expectations of $2.44bn.

Anglo declared a full-year shareholder payout of $0.96 per share, totalling $500m, down from $1.98.

Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – the company’s preferred profit metric – fell to $9.96bn from $14.495bn.

Impairments from its diamond and nickel businesses and lower prices for platinum and diamonds hit the global miner.

Chief Executive Duncan Wanblad said the London-based company is systematically reviewing assets and will take “further actions as needed to ensure their competitiveness.”

In December, Anglo American announced it would cut $1bn in costs in 2024.


Advertising giant WPP is trying to capitalise on the artificial intelligence boom as its boss described its “detailed our strategy to capture the opportunities of AI”.

However, it revealed a sharp fall in profits as sales in its US business continued to slow as it restructured its agencies to cut costs.

Shares have fallen as much as 1% in early trading after pre-tax profits plummeted by 70% to £346m for the whole of 2023, despite bosses saying they had managed around £475m of gross savings in 2023, which is ahead of the originally planned £450m.

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The group hit forecasts despite weakness in the fourth quarter in the United States, where the key metric dropped by 4.5%

"While 2023 was more challenging than we expected due to cuts in spending by technology clients, we delivered a resilient performance for the year," CEO Mark Read said.

"We are optimistic about the strategic opportunities ahead of us and are confident that we can deliver accelerated and increasingly profitable growth over the medium term."

Mercedes-Benz (MBGYY)

Mercedes-Benz said that net profit slipped 21.5% on year to €3.16bn. Analysts expected net profit to finish the quarter at €2.80bn.

Group earnings before interest and taxes fell to €19.7bn despite a 2% rise in revenue. Mercedes hiked its dividend to €5.30 a share from €5.20 for 2022.

The german carmaker raised its average price by 2% to €74.200 ($80,395.70) and committed to share buybacks of up to €3bn.

"Mercedes-Benz continued its transformation in 2023, developing new cutting-edge electric and digital innovations, while scaling electric vehicles and delivering solid financial results. In other words, the team once again came through to execute our strategy in challenging times, delivering the eSprinter and the new E-Class," CEO Ola Kaellenius said.

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