FTSE 250 movers: Contour crushed, Just Group leaps
London's FTSE 250 was 0.41% lower at 19,171.03 in afternoon trading on Thursday, as power generation business Contour Global led the index lower.
Greene King followed close behind after analysts at Berenberg stated that it was "time to sell" the stock as the current financial year "is likely to have got off to a poor start" and will exert pressure on new chief executive Nick Mackenzie, while necessary dividend cuts are unlikely to be taken well in the short term.
"We think the pressure will already be mounting, with FY 2020 (since 1 May) almost certainly off to a poor start. According to CGA, market like-for-like sales growth for pubs in May was down 1.7%, making it the worst year-on-year decline since March 2018 (which was hit by the “Beast from the East”). That situation is unlikely to get much better, with the rest of the year still facing a series of tough comps," said analysts.
Retailer Pets at Home was also among the top fallers as its stock went ex-dividend.
Retirement products specialist Just Group surged after saying it remains committed to delivering capital self-sufficiency by 2022 and will target further cost cuts in its US care business.
Analysts from Shore Capital said: "Just has had several well publicised issues over the last few years that have had significant impacts on the share price, but the underlying business remains one ideally placed for strong growth in bulk annuities and lifetime mortgages over the coming years. The share price has fallen significantly below the reality of events and at a 2019F PER of 3.6x continues to fundamentally undervalue the group."
Kier Group was higher after analysts at Peel Hunt said they were confident that the UK Contracting market remains stable with pockets of strength (regional building), lumpiness (infrastructure) and slowing (London building) after attending presentations from Kier, Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindall.
Premier Oil, Tullow Oil and Cairn Energy were higher after oil prices rose sharply after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman.
Finally, Paragon Banking Group rose after analysts at Canaccord hiked the stock's target price from 495p to 500p, stating that the mortgage provider is "well-positioned for the medium term" despite Brexit related uncertainty.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,171.03 -0.41%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Just Group (JUST) 57.35p 13.68%
Kier Group (KIE) 195.20p 7.25%
Premier Oil (PMO) 72.78p 3.97%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 199.35p 2.39%
Ibstock (IBST) 244.80p 2.34%
Sabre Insurance Group (SBRE) 262.50p 2.34%
Saga (SAGA) 38.94p 2.10%
Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 443.00p 1.98%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 125.00p 1.96%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 145.50p 1.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Contour Global (GLO) 196.60p -7.92%
Greene King (GNK) 605.60p -7.15%
Card Factory (CARD) 179.40p -6.17%
Ted Baker (TED) 900.50p -5.21%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 276.50p -4.33%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 173.30p -4.31%
Rank Group (RNK) 153.00p -4.26%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,844.00p -3.96%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,061.00p -3.33%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 128.80p -3.01%