Johnson Matthey shares rose as much as 8% after the chemicals group and metals refinery said the results would be at the upper end of expectations. Johnson Matthey JMAT, + 2.84% said increased activity in automobiles and other key end markets, and cost control, will mean adjusted operating profit at the upper end of the consensus of £ 405 million to £ 502 million.
Johnson Matthey also said it is conducting a strategic review of its healthcare business. Analysts at brokerage Equita say the asking price “could easily exceed” the £ 500 million valuation in their sum of the parts valuation. Laura Hoy, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the sale of the healthcare business could help increase its transition from making catalytic converters to supplying materials for hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. “The shift to a more sustainable future has not been lost at JMAT, whose bread and butter is making catalytic converters to remove emissions from traditional car exhausts. With the transition to electric vehicles underway, the devices could eventually become obsolete and that led the group to embark on a major strategy change, “he said. The environmental issue also prevailed as miner Anglo American AAL, increased 1.99% after announcing that it will spin off its thermal coal operations into a publicly traded company in Johannesburg and London. The broader FTSE 100 UKX, + 0.37%, was up 0.4%, in line with world markets, as traders reacted to continued bond buying signals from the US Federal Reserve. AstraZeneca AZN, + 2.62% was another winner, almost 3%. The pharmaceutical product has been affected by ongoing concerns about the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine. Cambridge Cognition Holdings COG, + 1.52%, an AIM listed company, jumped 20% after winning a £ 500,000 contract with a new pharmaceutical client to provide cognitive assessments in a home clinical trial. He did not name the client, who said he had a line of central nervous system medications.