Antofagasta, Inchcape, Weir Group: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in U.K. and Irish markets. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last market close.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index (UKX) declined 16.61 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,973.78. The FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) fell 0.2 percent while Ireland’s ISEQ Index gained 0.2 percent.

Allied Irish Banks Plc (ALBK) : The Dublin-based government-controlled lender said it transferred an additional 1.1 billion euros ($1.8 billion) of loans on March 4 to the National Asset Management Agency at a discount of 60 percent. The stock climbed 4.2 percent to 25 euro cents.

Antofagasta Plc (ANTO) : The copper producer controlled by Chile’s Luksic family said full-year profit climbed to $1.05 billion from $667.7 million a year earlier. Group revenue increased to $4.58 billion from $2.96 billion, the company said. The shares dropped 1.2 percent to 1,420 pence.

Ashtead Group Plc (AHT) : The third-largest U.S. and U.K. construction equipment-rental company said its third-quarter loss narrowed to 1.2 million pounds ($1.9 million) from 9.2 million pounds a year earlier. The stock advanced 2.3 percent to 186.5 pence.

AZ Electronic Materials (AZEM LN): The chemicals maker partly owned by Carlyle Group said revenue increased 36 percent last year to $682.1 million. The shares declined 1.6 percent to 305 pence.

Cairn Energy Plc (CNE) : The oil and gas exploration and production company was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. The shares gained 0.5 percent to 441.2 pence.

Inchcape Plc (INCH) : The global operator of car dealerships said pretax profit was 192.1 million pounds versus 136.7 million pounds a year ago. The stock retreated 1.2 percent to 391.5 pence.

Mothercare Plc (MTC) : The U.K.-based baby-products retailer was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS AG. The shares climbed 0.6 percent to 478.1 pence.

Thomas Cook Group Plc (TCG) : Europe’s second-biggest tour operator was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at HSBC Holdings Plc. The shares added 0.5 percent to 188 pence.

Tullett Prebon Plc (TLPR) : The London-based inter-dealer broker said 2010 net income declined 2.1 percent after brokers in North America quit to join a rival, hurting revenue. The shares gained 0.3 percent to 426 pence.

Weir Group Plc (WEIR) : The Glasgow-based engineering company said full-year revenue rose to 1.64 billion pounds from 1.39 billion pounds a year earlier. The stock declined 0.6 percent to 1,779 pence.

To contact the reporters on this story: Blanche Gatt in London at; Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at Andrew Rummer at

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