Ted Baker tumbles to seven-year low as HSBC slashes target

A look at the day's major movers, including Ted Baker, IAG, easyJet, Bagir, Blue Prism, EVR, Blackbird, Nu-Oil & Gas, Anglo Asian Mining and Petrel Resources

HSBC cut Ted Baker to 'hold' from 'buy' and snipped a huge £10 from its share price target to 900p

Ted Baker PLC (LON:TED) shares fell 9% to a seven-year low below 820p on Wednesday after analysts at HSBC downgraded their rating for the fashion chain and slashed their target price.

The bank cut its recommendation on Ted Baker to 'hold' from 'buy' and snipped a huge £10 from its share price target to 900p, making it one of the lowest in the City.

Earlier this month, the retailer issued a profit warning as it dealt with the departure of founder Ray Kelvin in the wake of the “forced hugging” scandal, while also facing “extremely difficult” trading conditions, “unseasonable weather” and a “highly promotional retail environment across our global markets”.

Other analysts at HSBC were also in a bearish mood on Wednesday, with the travel team downgrading both International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) and easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) to ‘reduce’ from ‘hold’, sending their shares down more than 3% to 442.34p and 873.6p respectively. 

Sparked by this week’s profit warning from German rival Lufthansa, IAG’s price target was cut to 400p from 550p, while the budget rival was moved down to 800p from 1,100p.

HSBC said the sector’s problem is not excessive supply, but rapidly weakening demand. “We think this is primarily driven by consumer confidence, with environmental sensitivities and the memory of last year’s hot summer playing supporting roles,“ the analysts added.

Another notable faller was Just Eat PLC (LON:JE.), down 5% to 608.6p after UBS chopped its stance to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ and sliced its target price for the online food delivery group to 650p from 870p.

1pm: Bagir unravels as China deal delayed

Shares in tailoring innovator Bagir Group Ltd (LON:BAGR) unravelled to an all-time low on Wednesday, dropping more than 20% to 1p, before rebounding to 1.27p in early afternoon trading.

The Israel-headquartered group, which has been waiting for the bulk of a promised US$16.5mln investment from Chinese textiles giant Shandong Ruyi since February, has pushed back the deadline for the transaction for a second time.

Discussions over the last few days in Beijing with senior management, Bagir directors have “been persuaded of Shandong Ruyi's intention to complete the transaction and commitment to provide valuable operational support to the Company on the run up to the extended completion date and as previously agreed”.

Blue Prism Group plc (LON:PRSM) shareholders were also feeling blue as the rise-of-the-robots evangelist reported an eightfold increase in half-year losses to £34mln and announced the £80mln cash-and-shares acquisition of the preposterously named Thoughtonomy.

Chief executive Alastair Bathgate was nevertheless “delighted” with sales progressing 82% to £41.6mln, pointing to an “increase in deal momentum” and said the development of the robotic process automation market into the software category was behind today's acquisition, “which is an important step in targeting the mid-tier and developing our enterprise cloud approach”.

Investors were not entirely convinced, with the shares stumbling like a robot on a staircase, dropping 12% to 1,545.8p.

11.30am: EVR gain is reality ahead of app launch

Shares in virtual reality firm EVR Holdings PLC (LON:EVRH) rose nearly 12% to 6.1p after saying it is another step closer to launching a new mobile app for its MelodyVR platform.

The Company said it has launched the MelodyVR platform to Android and IOS to group of individuals for testing. The mobile app will launch to the public later this summer 2019, it said.

EVR also announced a new compatible MelodyVR Viewer device, which is said was “comparable or better” than virtual reality headset Oculus Go.

Petrel Resources PLC (LON:PET) shares sank 29% to 0.95p after the oil explorer reported a disappointing full-year results statement.

“The big surprise is that Ireland where we assumed low political risk and higher geological risk and turning out to have high political risk while the geological has not improved,” chairman John Teeling said. “Overall the Irish offshore is a sorry scene.”

In the Atlantic Porcupine project, offshore Ireland, Petrel said there was a good probability of finding nothing of value.

Elsewhere, it is still awaiting ratification of a contract for the development of the Tano 2A Block negotiated with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation after 10 years.

9am: Blackbird fly

Shares in Blackbird PLC (LON:BIRD) were only waiting for this moment to arise, flying more than 16% higher to 8.15p in early trade on Wednesday, as the cloud video specialist agreed a six-figure, multi-year deal with a joint venture between Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and Hearst Communications .

The A+E Networks joint venture, which controls a portfolio of brands that includes the History channel, Lifetime and Viceland, will use technology from Blackbird - the new name for Forbidden Technologies PLC - for “a range of key video workflows” to help improve productivity.

Blackbird’s video platform will enable A+E’s vast video library to be “rapidly ingested and accessed” in the cloud, allowing executives, producers, editors and marketers to view, edit and enrich content from anywhere, on any device to quickly deliver clips to social media channels.

Other early risers included Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ), up 8% to a new all-time high just shy of 125p as it has identified multiple targets from an aerial survey of the land surrounding its Gedabek gold mine in Azerbaijan.

Some of these are in areas of known mineralisation, said the miner, while others are in completely unexplored territory.

Nu-Oil and Gas Plc (LON:NUOG) surged almost 17% to 0.26p after revealing that its 50% owned joint venture, Marginal Field Development, has entered into a partnership with energy industry engineering group Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC).

Together Marginal Field and Petrofac will collaborate in gas-to-wire opportunities aimed at opening up ‘stranded’ gas resources.

Proactive news headlines:

Nu-Oil and Gas Plc (LON:NUOG) has revealed that its 50% owned joint venture Company, Marginal Field Development Company Ltd (MFDevCo), has entered into a partnership with energy industry engineering group Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC). Together MFDevCo and Petrofac will collaborate in gas-to-wire opportunities aimed at opening up ‘stranded’ gas resources.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) said it had completed recruitment for the first European phase III clinical trial of its fast-acting treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). The headline data from the study is expected by the end of the year.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) has identified multiple targets from an aerial survey of the land surrounding its Gedabek gold mine in Azerbaijan. Some of these are in areas of known mineralisation, said the miner, while others are in completely unexplored territory.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) has signed a partnership agreement with due diligence and online reputation screening firm Neotas Ltd. The risk management software group said under the agreement it would distribute and support Neotas’s enhanced due diligence application through its Global Risk Platform. Big Pic in June.

ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC) has increased its rate of new client wins in the first part of 2019 as it reiterated its forecasts for the full year.

Gold explorer Landore Resources Limited (LON:LND) expects the ongoing drilling programme at BAM to establish its Junior Lake property as a multi-million-ounce gold deposit. BAM’s existing resource extends over 1.7km within a 3.1km strike length and the in-fill drilling will take place along the outstanding 1.4km in order to bring that section up to a defined resource level. Big Pic in May.

Ormonde Mining plc (LON:ORM) is expecting to reach higher grade ore at its Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain by the end of the year. In an outlook statement accompanying its results for 2018, the AIM-listed firm said it also expected to attain steady-state processing operations at the project before the end of 2019, which would result in a “robust outlook” going forward after the current ramp-up period. Big Pic in December.

Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) told investors it has completed a 3D seismic exploration survey at the Tapi Aike licence in Argentina. The survey covered the ‘western cube’ of the project and data processing is now underway.

TLOU Energy Ltd (LON:TLOU) told investors that the Lesedi 3 production pod has successfully reached critical desorption pressure (CDP) - the point at which gas begins to be released from coal following dewatering.

W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) has signed a contract for haulage and crushing services at its Régua tungsten mine in Northern Portugal. In a separate announcement, the group also issued updates on its flagship La Parrilla tungsten project in Spain and its São Martinho gold mine in Portugal.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) substantial shareholder Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited (LOAME) has increased its interest in the sulphate of potash (SOP) developer to 15.01%. LOAME now holds more than 35 million shares in the company on the ASX after a series of purchases in May and June increased the interest from 11.55%.

Salt Lake Potash also advised that a new corporate presentation is now available to view on the company's website. www.so4.com.au

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY), the fully integrated commercial biotechnology company specialising in allergy vaccines, announced that Mary Tavener will join its board as a non-executive director with immediate effect. The group noted that Taverner has extensive experience in the healthcare sector, having spent more than 19 years as chief financial officer of AIM listed Advanced Medical Solutions (LON:AMS).

Avacta Group PLC (LON:AVCT), the developer of Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents, said its chief executive, Alastair Smith, will be presenting at an investor evening hosted by Turner Pope Investments on Wednesday, 3 July 2019. The group added that  event will be held in London, EC2 and commence at 4pm.

Primary Health Properties PLC (LON:PHP) late yesterday announced the pricing and final terms of its offering of £150mln of Convertible Bonds due 2025 which will be issued at par and  carry a coupon of 2.875% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears. The firm said the initial exchange price has been set at 153.25p, a 15% premium to the volume weighted average share price on 18 June 2019 of 133.26p.

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