FTSE 250 movers: Contour charged up, TalkTalk dips lower
London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.81% at 18,804.87 in afternoon trading on Monday, as power generation business Contour Global arced higher on a subdued day of trading for the index.
Following close behind, Just Eat rallied as it emerged that shareholder Cat Rock Capital Management has sent an open letter to the food delivery group urging it to merge with a "well-run industry peer" following the departure of chief executive Peter Plumb.
In the letter, Cat Rock, which holds just a 1.7% stake in the online takeaway service giant, expressed "deep concern" over the company's recent appointment of executives, saying they lack online food delivery experience.
Metro Bank was boosted by an upgrade to 'hold' from 'sell' at Berenberg, where analysts also cut the stock's target price from 2,500p to 1,200p as they argued that the bank's plan to prioritise growth over near-term returns has been "eroded" by the surprise increase to its risk-weighted assets.
"Not growing is not an option, in our view. However, with near-term growth likely relying on external capital, we believe a return expectations must be re-based to re-establish confidence. With these risks now better reflected in the price, we upgrade to Hold, but note that near-term risks to the downside persist," said a note from the broker.
TalkTalk was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'reduce' from 'hold' at HSBC, stating that the telecoms giant is prioritising subscriber growth over profitability.
"For two years in a row, the company has upgraded subscriber growth targets and downgraded profitability guidance within the third-quarter trading statement, showing an apparent disregard for the importance of the financial guidance which is being issued," said the note from HSBC analysts.
Playtech dropped on the back of a downgrade to 'underperform' at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where analysts remain unconvinced that the business' Asian market had stabilised since a profit warning last summer.
Finally, Tritax Big Box REIT was lower as it reported that its open offer to raise £250m was oversubscribed as investors piled in to support the company's purchase of an 87% stake in privately owned logistics development firm db Symmetry.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,804.87 0.81%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Contour Global (GLO) 171.42p 7.75%
Indivior (INDV) 105.50p 4.40%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 3,164.00p 3.53%
Just Eat (JE.) 727.20p 3.30%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 5,990.00p 3.28%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 1,310.00p 3.15%
IWG (IWG) 229.10p 3.11%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,510.00p 3.08%
BCA Marketplace (BCA) 207.00p 2.73%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,248.50p 2.63%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 94.70p -1.92%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,617.00p -1.82%
Superdry (SDRY) 489.60p -1.61%
Playtech (PTEC) 377.60p -1.59%
Tritax Big Box Reit (BBOX) 136.42p -1.50%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 260.00p -1.37%
JPMorgan Indian Investment Trust (JII) 654.00p -1.21%
Hilton Food Group (HFG) 904.00p -1.09%
888 Holdings (888) 169.50p -0.88%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 198.30p -0.85%