WH Ireland retained an “outperform” rating for funeral services group Dignity Plc (LON:DTY), on reports of a 5.5% rise in revenues to £100.9m and a 5.7% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to £24.0m. Profits were 2% ahead of forecasts, which the broker said was a creditable performance given a 2.2% reduction in the death rate in England and Wales during the first half of the year. Elsewhere, WHI retained a “buy” advisory at telecoms components manufacturer Filtronic (LON:FTC), which announced that it was spending £10.7m in cash and shares to buy wireless infrastructure provider Isotek. Isotek will add around £15m to the revenue line and should be earnings enhancing. The broker said its first take was that the rationale behind the purchase was “sound”.

Astaire Securities remained upbeat on clean power specialist ITM Power (LON:ITM), which reported flat full year losses of £5.1m as it moves ahead with the commercial launch of its product range. Revenues are expected to begin flowing once the company receives full CE product accreditation at the end of 2010. In the meantime, ITM is understood to have managed its cash resources to ensure it has enough working capital to see it well beyond that stage. Elsewhere, Astaire gave the nod to an update from support services group Homeserve (LON:HSV), which said it was on track to deliver targeted customer growth and retention rates in the UK for the full year. The European business is also on track to meet its targeted growth in policy numbers. Astaire said that while trading had been good in the first four month of the year, the traditionally weighted second half meant that visibility on the FY was low.

Elsewhere, Evolution Securities reiterated a “reduce” recommendation for Aquarius Platinum Limited (LON:AQP) on fears that increased costs will hit the miner’s margins in 2010 and leave earning flat on last year. Aquarius’s Q4 and full year production was in line with estimates, with expectations of a marked increase in attributable platinum group metal (PGM) production to 541,000oz in 2011. Meanwhile, British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) earned a renewed “buy” advisory as the company reported that it was continuing to enjoy strong pricing growth and gains in the premium market driven by innovation, together with 190bp of margin build. Finally, Evo maintained…

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