FTSE 250 movers: Babcock bounces, Centamin slides
London's FTSE 250 was down 0.63% at 19,150.92 in afternoon trade on Friday, as Babcock International led the index higher.
The London-based multinational corporation was the top riser, recovering from a fall following its results on Wednesday and a downgrade to 'hold' from Stifel on Thursday.
Royal Mail also bounced back, rising following heavy losses a day earlier and on the back of an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Goldman Sachs and to ‘hold’ from Liberum.
"Royal Mail’s new strategy has brought clarity to how management intends to deal with the substantial structural challenges faced by the group. We remain deeply cautious on the short-term outlook, the long-term challenges and the execution risks in Royal Mail’s new strategy. We believe there could be yet more downside risk in the short term. However, we see the valuation as more reflective of these challenges," said analysts at Liberum.
Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments was also among the top risers for the second consecutive session after it rejected a call by one of its biggest shareholders to find a buyer to take it private on Thursday.
Mitchells & Butlers fizzed higher thanks to an upgrade to ‘buy' at Citi, while analysts at Canaccord hiked the stock's target price from 285p to 290p as they praised the pub company's "better than expected" interim results.
At the other end of the field, precious metals miner Centamin was the top faller, while B&M European Value Retail followed close behind following analysts at RBC Capital Markets decision cut their target price on the stock from 450p to 425p,
Finally, energy services outfit Wood Group was lower after analysts at Barclays cut the stock's price target from 910p to 600p.
"The issue is that the company is not what it was - cash is not being delivered, risks in the company have been highlighted and investors are casting a more cautious eye over acceptable accounting treatments which portray the company in a brighter light. They are also more nervous over other potential issues that are in the background, including project litigation and an ongoing investigation in alleged improper sales practices," said the analysts.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,150.92 0.63%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 453.00p 8.71%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 226.80p 6.33%
Royal Mail (RMG) 210.10p 6.16%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 377.80p 5.65%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 183.94p 4.75%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,350.00p 4.65%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 436.80p 4.65%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 412.30p 3.62%
Funding Circle Holdings (FCH) 265.50p 3.31%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 272.50p 3.22%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 87.07p -3.85%
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 349.30p -3.75%
Elementis (ELM) 148.80p -2.94%
Kier Group (KIE) 293.40p -2.72%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 405.60p -2.66%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 409.40p -2.29%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 306.00p -2.05%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 153.60p -2.04%
Provident Financial (PFG) 451.50p -1.91%
Contour Global (GLO) 192.20p -1.44%