Plus500 Limited (LON:PLUS) saw its shares jump today after the spreadbetting firm said it expects to report full-year profit and revenue ahead of market expectations after rising customer numbers and strong trading helped to offset challenges from a sector-wide regulatory clampdown.
In a post-close season trading update, the AIM-listed firm - which provides an online trading platform for retail customers to trade contracts for differences (CFDs) – said it achieved strong volumes in crypto currency CFDs and experienced increased interest in the offering throughout the year.
The group added that it achieved record quarterly revenue in the final quarter of 2017 and said about 246,000 new customers joined during the year, up from 104,432 a year earlier.
Asaf Elimelech, Plus 500’s chief executive officer, commented: "Momentum in the business has continued to be strong with increased interest in our crypto currency CFD offering and record new and active customer numbers, demonstrating our ability to serve our customers' trading needs through product innovation and technology leadership."
The firm expects to report its preliminary results for the financial year ended 31 December 2017 before the end of February 2018.
In an update to an initial note, analysts at Liberum Capital raised their target price for Plus 500 shares to 1,232p from 1,069p after upgrading their EPS forecasts by 2%, 15% and 20% for 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Reiterating a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, the Liberum analysts said: “Our forecasts reflect stronger customer acquisition through our forecast horizon offset to some extent by lower ARPU, as a result of the ESMA leverage limits likely to come into force.”
In mid-morning trading, Plus 500 shares remained a top gainer in London, up 16,4% at 1,026p.
-- Updates broker comment, share price --