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Frasers Group “least popular stock” in FTSE 250 index, says AJ Bell

The retailer comes with 67% ‘sell’ ratings, but experts urge to take recommendations with caution

Frasers Group PLC - Frasers Group “least popular stock” in FTSE 250 index, says AJ Bell
Sports Direct recently changed name

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group PLC (LON:FRAS), recently renamed from Sports Direct, is the least popular stock among analysts in the FTSE 250 index, according to research by investment platform AJ Bell.

The retailer comes with 67% ‘sell’ ratings, the same proportion as FTSE 100-listed financial services company and AJ Bell rival Hargreaves Lansdown PLC (LON:HL).

READ: As Sports Direct becomes Frasers are Ashley's plans pantomime or golden goose?

The most popular blue chip is Melrose Industries PLC (LON:MRO), with 92% ‘buy’ recommendations, while many mid-caps got 100% positive ratings including Vivo Energy PLC (LON:VVO), Brewin Dolphin Holdings plc (LON:BRW) and Countryside Properties PLC (LON:CSP).

“The value in analyst research lies in their commentary and analysis, while the ratings themselves need to be treated with a huge dollop of caution,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said in an email.

He added that in 2019, FTSE 350 stocks with the greatest percentage of ‘buy’ ratings went up and provided a total return that exceeded the index.

However, the stocks with the greatest percentage of ‘sell’ ratings did even better.

The top ten buy-rated FTSE 100 stocks rose by 23.2%, but the top ten sells rose by 28.9%.

““The point of this exercise is not to poke fun at the analysts (I used to be one)," said Mould.

“It just shows how hard picking individual stocks can be, even if it is your full-time job.

 “The data also suggest that anyone prepared to pick their own stocks rather than pay a fund manager or index-tracker fund to do it for them simply must do their own research on individual companies,” Mould concluded.

Shares in Frasers Group were trading 1% lower on Monday morning, at 508.5p.

Quick facts: Frasers Group PLC

Price: 503 GBX

LSE:FRAS
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £2.62 billion
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