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Barclays, ENRC, Vedanta, Xstrata : 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 rose 47.8, or 0.8 percent, to 5,860.75 yesterday. The FTSE All-Share Index and Ireland’s ISEQ Index also gained 0.8 percent.

Allied Irish Banks Plc (ALBK ID): The Dublin-based lender which is being bailed out by the government decided not to pay bonuses to certain employees following a letter it received from Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. The shares surged 4.8 percent to 46 euro cents in Dublin.

Barclays Plc (BARC LN): Britain’s third-biggest bank said Chief Executive Officer-designate Robert Diamond bought about 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) of the bank’s shares last week, according to a company filing late yesterday. The shares rose 0.4 percent to 273.3 pence.

Betfair Group Plc (BET LN): The British Internet gaming site reported a 13 percent drop in first-half net income to 6.8 million pounds. The stock fell 4.4 percent to 1,181 pence.

BP Plc (BP/ LN): Jefferies Group Inc. rated the energy company “hold” in new coverage and set a price estimate of 475 pence. The firm also initiated coverage of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA LN) with a “buy” recommendation and a price target of 2,350 pence. BP rose 0.7 percent to 458.35 pence and Shell gained 0.8 percent to 2,066.5 pence.

British Airways Plc (BAY LN): Credit Suisse Group AG named the U.K. carrier and Spain’s Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA its “top picks” for the European airline industry. Analysts also restarted coverage of EasyJet Plc (EZJ LN) with a “neutral” recommendation. BA shares gained 1.4 percent to 278 pence.

Carpetright Plc (CPR LN): The U.K.’s biggest carpet retailer posted an 11 percent drop in first-half pretax profit to 9.8 million pounds and said the company remains “cautious” about the market’s outlook into 2011. The shares fell 0.5 percent to 796 pence.

Vedanta Resources Plc (VED LN): The metals producer controlled by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal said shareholders approved the proposed $9.6 billion acquisition of as much as 60 percent of Cairn India Ltd. The shares rose 2.8 percent to 2,338 pence.

Xstrata Plc (XTA LN), Eurasian Natural Resources Corp (ENRC LN): UBS AG raised its recommendation for the mining companies to “buy” from “neutral.” Xstrata gained 1.4 percent to 1,461.5 pence and ENRC rose 1.5 percent to 979 pence.

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