FTSE 250 movers: Convatec plummets, upgrades drive AA and Avast
London's mid cap index fell 170 points to 18,803.45 on Monday, led by Convatec and Superdry.
Medical products company Convatec was the biggest faller in afternoon trade as it tumbled nearly 40% after it warned on profits and announced the retirement of chief executive officer Paul Moraviec.
The FTSE 250 firm said that revised guidance was driven destocking by its biggest customer in the Infusion Devices franchise and ongoing softness in the Advanced Woundcare market, resulting in full-year organic revenue growth to be flat to 1.0%, from 2.5% to 3.0% previously.
Fashion brand Superdry tumbled after warning that profits for the financial year 2019 would be around £23m lower than expected due to unseasonably hot weather and unexpected foreign exchange costs.
The UK, continental Europe and on the east coast of the US all experienced warmer weather, which continued through into September and the first half of October and has impacted the demand for products such as sweaters and jackets, which account for 45% of the retailer's annual sales.
Convenience food manufacturer Greencore reversed earlier gains to trade sharply lower after striking a deal to sell its entire US business, including Peacock which it acquired just two years ago, for $1.1bn (£817m) and return a chunk of the cash to shareholders.
The Dublin-headquartered, FTSE 250-listed outfit said it would return £509m, or 72p per share, of the £802m net proceeds to shareholders, if they approve the deal, with the remaining funds to be used to pay down debt.
IMI fell as it was downgraded to 'neutral' at America Merrill Lynch, with the company's target price dropped from 240p to 210p. "With the original guidance so low relative to history and given the easy comps the group was lapping we would have thought forecast risk at this point in the year would be extremely low, and we were wrong," said Merrill Lynch in a note.
The AA rose strongly in afternoon trading after Liberum reaffirmed its 'buy' rating of the roadside auto repair company's shares in a vote of confidence after the company reported a slump in first half profits due to poor weather back in September.
Computer anti-virus software developer Avast also benefitted from recommendations on Monday, climbing after Credit Suisse raised its target price to 330p from 248p and reaffirmed its 'outperform' investment rating. Credit Suisse slightly trimmed its expectations for the company's full-year revenues by 1-2% but raised EBITDA forecasts after "strong" interim margins and encouraging outlook comments.
"There is no direct peer to Avast that operates a comparable "freemium" model into the security sector. We consider a range of peers, including security companies, broader software companies and Internet platforms. Overall, we believe Check Point arguably offers the best valuation peer," said a note from the investment bank.
Finally, Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air edged upwards after RBC Capital Markets raised its target price for the company's shares from 3,800p to 4,100p
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,799.72 -0.92%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Nex Group (NXG) 1,049.00p 4.38%
AA (AA.) 103.40p 3.88%
Avast (AVST) 284.95p 3.28%
Computacenter (CCC) 1,226.00p 3.20%
IWG (IWG) 218.70p 3.16%
Amigo Holdings (AMGO) 225.95p 2.68%
Just Group (JUST) 84.45p 2.67%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 550.50p 2.61%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,522.00p 2.60%
Softcat (SCT) 740.00p 2.07%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Convatec Group (CTEC) 140.90p -37.15%
Superdry (SDRY) 817.50p -19.46%
Greencore Group (GNC) 194.50p -6.27%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 622.40p -4.83%
IMI (IMI) 984.00p -3.91%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,549.40p -3.46%
Renishaw (RSW) 4,012.00p -3.19%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,604.00p -3.14%
On The Beach Group (OTB) 433.00p -3.13%
Card Factory (CARD) 183.10p -2.92%