FTSE 250 movers: William Hill tumbles at the fences while IWG soars
London's FTSE 250 was roughly unchanged, down just 0.08% at 19,048.53 in afternoon trade on Tuesday, with William Hill weaker after a profit warning.
William Hill slumped after the bookmaker warned that 2018 profit would be down on last year as its online business takes a hit from regulatory and tax changes, while weaker footfall and challenging high street conditions also weigh.
The group said in a trading update that full-year operating profit would come in at between £225m and £245m, below both last year's operating profit of £291.3m and market expectations.
Even so, UBS reiterated its 'buy' stance and target price of 300p for the gambling specialist's shares, describing the company as an attractive medium-term growth opportunity despite Tuesday's focus on weaker guidance and online performance.
Hiscox crept downward on a downgrade from 'buy' to 'hold' by Canaccord, which set a target price of 1,470p and cited "clear areas for concern" such as gross premiums written growth.
The specialist insurer said on Monday that gross written premiums increased by 14.3% to $3.04bn in the nine months to the end of September, but added that it expected growth to moderate over the balance of the year.
"We remain fans of Hiscox but the notable slowdown in our growth expectations means that, on a twelve month view, we see an increased downside risk and believe the market is likely to attribute a lower P/B multiple to the shares than previously, especially given the backdrop of a more uncertain stockmarket," said Canaccord.
Flexible workspace provider IWG, formerly Regus, was on the rise after it posted a 10.2% jump in third-quarter revenues at constant currency to £638m as the company said it is on track to deliver full-year results in line with management's expectations.
The company said the improvement was reasonably broad-based, including good performances in the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific, though the UK remains disappointing, it said.
Mining industry supplier Weir Group made gains after divisional orders for the third quarter were 13% higher year on year and 10% higher on a like-for-like basis.
However, the company also reported that a slowdown in US shale production would impact full year profits at its oil and gas unit, with operating profit now expected to be in the range of £90m - £100m, down from forecasts of £140m.
Synthomer climbed after the chemicals group maintained full-year guidance as third-quarter volumes in its US and European operations fell but margins improved on increased investment.
The company also announced a restructure, effective 1 January, that would see it create three business units: performance elastomers, functional solutions and specialities.
Spire Healthcare was also on the up after non-executive director Simon Rowlands on Monday purchased 200,000 ordinary shares in the healthcare equipment and services provider at an average price of 132.08p each, for a total value of £264,159.99.
FTSE 250 - Risers
IWG (IWG) 250.70p 5.83%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,598.50p 5.72%
Sanne Group (SNN) 615.00p 4.77%
Synthomer (SYNT) 459.80p 4.12%
EI Group (EIG) 177.60p 3.86%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 132.20p 3.77%
Indivior (INDV) 209.20p 3.56%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 1,335.00p 3.49%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,668.80p 3.41%
Greggs (GRG) 1,218.00p 3.05%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
William Hill (WMH) 200.20p -6.27%
Just Group (JUST) 86.20p -6.20%
CYBG (CYBG) 252.80p -4.60%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 373.10p -4.46%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 109.96p -4.13%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,092.50p -3.32%
IP Group (IPO) 111.80p -2.95%
Amigo Holdings (AMGO) 238.30p -2.73%
Card Factory (CARD) 185.10p -2.73%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,511.00p -2.64%