FTSE 250 movers: SIG gets broker boost, Avast stumbles
London's FTSE 250 was up 0.10% at 19,162.58 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, as a barrage of broker action sent the index higher.
Building products supplier SIG was top riser after analysts at Stifel raised their price target to 130p to 116p. They also commented that the company's Air Handling unit could fetch more than £200m, which "would wipe out the group’s net debt".
Elementis followed close behind after UBS reiterated its "buy" rating but cut its target price from 290p to 250p, while Premier Oil was higher as Berenberg bumped the stock's target price up from 110p to 120p.
A day after its results, Equiniti was on the up after Liberum analysts reiterated their "buy" rating and 290p target price and praised a number of the outsourcing business' new client wins from 2018.
"Whilst the in year impact of these wins is limited, they provide the group with a strong spring board from which to drive future revenue growth. This is especially true for share registrar clients with either a large number of employee and retail investors."
Oil services engineer Petrofac climbed after being awarded a 42-month contract worth around $1bn for the Ain Tsila Development Project in Algeria, which will produce gas, LPG and Condensate for the local Algerian market and for export. Investors have been monitoring the flow of contracts for any possible effect from the developments in the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the company and its directors.
Oilfield services provider Hunting edged higher after Redburn initiated the stock with a "buy" rating and a 12-month target price of 800p, with a note stating that though the industry has been "undone by oversupply" the company's perforating gun product is an exception.
On the other side of the coin, cyber security firm Avast saw its shares drop as its annual organic growth came in light of expectations alongside the surprise retirement of Vince Steckler, its chief executive for the past decade, just over 12 months after the flotation of the antivirus software developer.
G4S dropped back lower a day after it reported flat underlying profits for 2018 and informed investors that it has received offers to acquire its Cash Solution business as it reviews options around a potential separation in the second half of the year.
Analysts from RBC Capital Markets said results were "messy" and nudged down its forecasts for currency and lower tax and reduced its price target from 225p to 205p, saying, "we remain unconvinced that a separation of Cash Services will unlock value".
Finally, outsourcer Capita fell as it confirmed late on Tuesday that it had received an unsolicited offer for the non-core travel businesses from Corporate Travel Management Limited several weeks ago.
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,162.58 0.10%
FTSE 250 - Risers
SIG (SHI) 141.80p 7.34%
Elementis (ELM) 160.20p 5.74%
Premier Oil (PMO) 82.02p 5.63%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 1,165.20p 3.59%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 192.20p 3.22%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 478.50p 2.79%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 198.10p 2.78%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 19.90p 2.77%
Bodycote (BOY) 833.50p 2.71%
Hunting (HTG) 531.00p 2.61%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Avast (AVST) 294.15p -4.48%
G4S (GFS) 196.40p -3.63%
Capita (CPI) 117.80p -2.97%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,180.00p -2.80%
Intu Properties (INTU) 108.50p -2.65%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 837.50p -2.62%
Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 127.60p -2.60%
Just Eat (JE.) 736.00p -2.54%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 2,860.00p -2.22%
Quilter (QLT) 139.92p -2.18%