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Trending tickers: Dechra | Wizz Air | Aviva | Lululemon

The latest investor updates on stocks that are trending on Friday

Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC  company logo seen displayed on smart phone.
Shares in Dechra led the FTSE 250 risers. Photo: PA/Alamy (Igor Golovnov)

Dechra (DPH.L)

Shares of Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH.L) rose over 8% and hit a two-week high after the vet drugmaker agreed to be taken private.

The price represents a 44% premium to Dechra’s closing share price on 12 April — before EQT’s interest became public — but is less than the private equity group was initially willing to pay, following a profit warning from the pharma company last month.

EQT will pay £38.75 ($48.57) per Dechra share in cash, lower than the £40.70 it proposed in April.

Analysts at Jefferies, however, raised questions about EQT's basis for revising the offer price, arguing that Dechra's troubles are likely just temporary.

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"In our view the price reduction from the initial potential offer is disappointing," they wrote in a note to clients.

If approved by shareholders, the firm hopes to complete the deal by the beginning of 2024.

Read more: FTSE 100 and European stocks higher on US debt deal

Anthony Santospirito, partner in the EQT Private Equity advisory team, said: "Dechra is a high-quality, innovative business founded in the UK with an impressive global footprint.

The Cheshire-based company listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2000 with a market value of £60m.

Wizz Air (WIZZ.L)

Budget airline Wizz Air reported a sharp rise in passenger numbers in May as the recovery in travel after the lifting of COVID pandemic restrictions continued.

Wizz Air carried just over 5 million passengers during the month, at a load factor — seats filled per flight — of 90.2%, up from 84.2% in the 2022 comparison.

For the rolling 12-month period, Wizz Air carried 53.2 million passengers, compared with 33.5 million a year before.

The budget airline said it had significantly expanded its Polish routes in May and also boosted the number of flights to Albania, Prague and Skopje.

Read more: Stocks that are trending today

Full-year results from the airline are due on Thursday 8 June.

Aviva (AV.L)

Aviva added 1% after the insurer and asset manager said it has completed its £300m share buyback programme.

In a statement, the life insurer said it had acquired 72.8 million shares at an average price of 412p per share.

Amanda Blanc, group chief executive officer, said: “We have delivered an encouraging start to 2023 and continue to build clear trading momentum.

“New business volumes are good, despite persistent economic uncertainty, and we delivered another quarter of strong growth across our diversified business.”

The buyback takes the London-listed insurer’s total capital returned to shareholders above the £5bn demanded by former activist investor Cevian.

September 4, 2022, Hong Kong, China: Shoppers are seen walking into the Canadian sportswear clothing band, Lululemon store in Hong Kong. (Credit Image: © Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)
Lululemon highlighted 'a meaningful acceleration in our China sales trend', as a bright spot for the business. Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA via ZUMA Press Wire (ZUMA Press, ZUMA Press, Inc.)

Lululemon (LULU)

Lululemon reported earnings that beat Wall Street’s estimates on the top and bottom lines on Thursday and raised its full-year guidance, bolstered by improvements in China and freight costs.

Shares of the company surged more than 14% in extended trading.

The athleisure retailer said its net revenue rose by 24% to $2bn between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. The company performed particularly well with its international customers as sales rose 60% year-over-year outside of North America.

Lululemon highlighted “a meaningful acceleration in our China sales trend”, as a bright spot for the business.

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The easing of China's strict COVID-19 curbs bolstered revenues from the region by 79%, while North America sales jumped 17%.

“Our results reflect the strength of our guest relationships, our innovative products and how our brand resonates across the globe,” CEO Calvin McDonald said in a statement.

The retailer now expects to see full-year revenue of $9.44bn to $9.51bn, up from a previous range of $9.31bn and $9.41bn, and beating Wall Street’s projections of $9.37bn, according to Refinitiv.

Watch: Lululemon earnings, Meta's new VR headset: Top stories

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