BUZZ-Ashtead: top of FTSE after strong results, buyback plans
** Ashtead Group +2% & top FTSE 100 gainer after industrial equipment hire co posts higher FY PBT & announces share buyback of up to 200 mln stg for 2016/17
** Co, which hires out diggers and tools on short-term contracts, also raises FY div by 48 pct to 22.5 p/shr & says expects "good" earnings growth this year
** Jefferies says results show Q4 beat (PBT up to 163.5 mln stg results in 10% beat on 149 mln stg consensus) & forecasts FY17 PBT of 691 mln stg
** A quarter of a full day's avg vol through in first 15 mins
** News a big boost after concerns raised by US peer United Rentals, which earlier this year forecasts 2016 adjusted EBITDA $2.65-$2.75 bln (lowered by 3.5%, Jefferies says), blames oil & gas & Canada biz
** Ashtead -c.15% YTD, vs United Rentals' -3%
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