FTSE 250 movers: Retailers boosted by Next update; recruiters hit by downgrade
London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.4% to 20,768.19 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, with retailers leading the charge after Next upped its guidance.
Retailers Ocado, N Brown, Supergroup and JD Sports all advanced on positive read-across from Next, which nudged up its full-year profit target after a better online sales performance in the run up to Christmas, but 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.
IG Group was on the front foot as AIM-listed trading platform provider Plus500 said revenues and profits for the year to the end of December will be ahead of market expectations and on the back of an upbeat note by Barclays.
The bank reiterated its ‘overweight’ rating on IG and said hiked the target price to 920p from 650p. “IG shares have almost brushed off the initial negative share price reaction to more onerous leverage limits announced in December 2017, but we believe this still materially undervalues the company,” it said.
On the downside, recruiters Pagegroup and Hays and roadside assistance company AA were hit by downgrades from Credit Suisse.
Babcock International was on the back foot after saying it has signed a five-year agreement worth about £115m to maintain frigates for the Australian navy.
Ocado Group (OCDO) 424.50p 8.15%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 284.40p 6.68%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 770.00p 5.62%
Supergroup (SGP) 2,076.00p 4.85%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 213.52p 4.16%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 398.05p 3.69%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 354.20p 3.66%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,577.00p 3.21%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 24.00p 3.18%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 217.00p 3.14%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 442.20p -4.57%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,686.00p -3.55%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 475.56p -3.30%
AA (AA.) 171.25p -3.00%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 278.50p -2.96%
Hays (HAS) 179.00p -2.35%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 349.00p -2.05%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 567.44p -2.00%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,421.00p -1.93%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 704.80p -1.84%