Reuters' stock has soared through the 300 pence a share barrier after the news and information group issued an upbeat trading statement confirming expectations of a slowdown in core revenue decline.
Reuters expects that the decline in recurring revenue in the first quarter of 2004 will be 9% or slightly better on an underlying basis compared to the equivalent quarter last year.
Tom Glocer, Reuters group chief executive, said: "I am confident that we have now passed the inflection point in our recurring revenue decline."
Shares in the group soared to 329 pence in early-morning trading, settling at 313.75 pence by mid-morning as profits were taken.
Reuters shares had already jumped in the run-up to the trading statement and were given a further lift yesterday as rumours began to circulate of a rift between Merrill Lynch and rival outfit Thomson Financial over a hotly-contested $300 million dealing room contract. Reuters had pulled out of the bidding for the contract in late 2002 saying that it was not prepared to buy the business at any price.
Merrill and Thomson issued a joint statement yesterday in an effort to quell the rumours: "Contrary to reports regarding the status of a major contract between Merrill Lynch and Thomson, the contract remains firmly in place and the partnership remains stronger than ever."