FTSE 100 movers: Next rallies as it lifts guidance; Ashtead boosted by upgrade
London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,668.66 in afternoon trade on Wednesday thanks to a solid performance from retailers.
Next surged as it nudged up its full-year profit target after a better online sales performance in the run up to Christmas, but the clothing retailer said it expects profits to fall in the coming year.
Full price sales in the 54 days up to and including Christmas Eve were 1.5% higher than in the same period last year, much better November's guidance for a continuation of the 0.3% decline seen in the first eight months of the financial year. Part of the improvement as being due to the colder weather leading up to Christmas.
Primark owner Associated British Foods also rose.
Equipment rental firm Ashtead was boosted by an upgrade to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’ at Credit Suisse. The bank said a strong demand outlook trumps supply risks.
Experian was also lifted by an upgrade to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’ by CS, which upped its price target on the stock to 1,900p from 1,530p.
“We expect organic growth to accelerate, with relatively stable margins and incremental earnings growth supported by ongoing buyback plus M&A.”
Next (NXT) 4,797.00p 6.60%
Just Eat (JE.) 803.00p 3.35%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,539.00p 2.53%
Experian (EXPN) 1,632.00p 2.03%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,346.32p 1.86%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,829.00p 1.80%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,210.00p 1.72%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,999.00p 1.68%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,906.00p 1.32%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 221.70p 1.23%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 801.60p -1.84%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 638.00p -1.69%
National Grid (NG.) 848.10p -1.60%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,920.50p -1.44%
WPP (WPP) 1,318.50p -1.35%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 611.20p -1.26%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 988.40p -1.26%
Old Mutual (OML) 226.10p -1.18%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,796.00p -1.17%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,802.00p -1.15%