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MARKET REPORT: TalkTalk dives as JP Morgan sparks fears customers are quitting after it was hacked in 2015

Investors hung up on TalkTalk after JP Morgan delivered a downbeat forecast on the stock.

The broker said the prospects for the business were uncertain as the telecoms provider attempts to stem the outflow of customers since it was hacked in 2015.

JP Morgan said shares are already down almost 30 per cent so far this year and a failure to stabilise customer numbers could lead to further downgrades to its forecasts on the stock.

Yesterday it cut its target price by a third to 150p. Shares tumbled 4.5 per cent, or 7.2p, to 152.5p.

Fears: JP Morgan said the prospects for TalkTalk were uncertain as the telecoms provider attempts to stem the outflow of customers since it was hacked in 2015Fears: JP Morgan said the prospects for TalkTalk were uncertain as the telecoms provider attempts to stem the outflow of customers since it was hacked in 2015

Fears: JP Morgan said the prospects for TalkTalk were uncertain as the telecoms provider attempts to stem the outflow of customers since it was hacked in 2015

Peppa Pig has become a stock market force to be reckoned with, as she helped pushed up revenue 22 per cent at toys and games firm Character Group.

The firm, whose other brands include Teletubbies, Minecraft and Scooby Doo, said revenue for the year was £121million while pre-tax profit was up 6.5 per cent at £13.1million.

      While the nation’s favourite pig remains its top-selling brand, the Snuggles My Dream Puppy, an interactive fluffy dog that costs about £45, was named one of the top 12 toys of 2016 by the Toy Retailers Association.

      A relaunch of elastic action man Stretch Armstrong, first sold in the 1970s, has also been successful with initial sales exceeding expectations.

      Character Group said the weaker pound could potentially push up its costs, but cost-saving measures and an increase in international business should help mitigate the impact. Shares soared 9.2 per cent, or 40p, to 475p.

      A rally in the oil market wasn’t enough to keep the FTSE 100 in the black. The stock market closed down 0.5 per cent, or 30.86 points, at 6752.93.

      Flooring firm Headlam Group climbed on a bullish trading update.

      The business, which operates across the UK and Europe, said it had seen no impact on trading since the EU referendum.

      Headlam implemented price increases to offset the weaker pound and said that, too, had no adverse impact on revenue.

      Total revenue was up around 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the first ten months, and the final three months are traditionally the busiest time for the firm.

      Shares yesterday rose 2.6 per cent, or 12.5p, to 485p.

      The highest climber of the day was retailer Dixons Carphone, which was boosted by positive talk from stock brokers.

      Credit Suisse put a ‘buy’ rating on the business, which it expects to gain market share. Dixons shares are down around 31 per cent so far this year as concerns loiter that demand for its products could fall and a weaker pound could hurt profit.

      But Credit Suisse said it expects the group to benefit from cost savings and store refits.

      UBS also rates the stock a ‘buy’. It said the outlook for next year is not as bad as had been feared, though it still shaved 40p off its target price to 470p. Shares surged 3.8 per cent, or 12.6p, to 344.4p.

      Clipper Logistics edged up on strong interim results. The firm said revenue was up 16.5 per cent to £164.9million in the six months to October 31 while pre-tax profit climbed 25.5 per cent to £6.9m.

      Clipper has extended its ‘click and collect’ contract with John Lewis as well as launching a returns and processing service for the retailer. It has also agreed new contracts with M&S and Halfords.

      Numis upped its target price for the stock by 70p to 360p. It said the firm was gaining traction in Europe more quickly than it had expected. Shares gained 0.8 per cent, or 3p, to 365p.

      Specialist recruitment firm InterQuest plunged as it revealed it had restructured one of its divisions. The AIM-listed business said it would revise sectors on which the London-based digital division focused and cut costs after a period of underperformance.

      In a trading update, InterQuest said while performance was still weaker than forecast, there had been improvement since the summer. InterQuest revealed that its income from fees for the year was likely to be less than expected. Shares dropped 9.5 per cent, or 3.25p, to 31p.

      Cyber security firm Defenx climbed as it revealed a new partnership that would enable the firm to sell its software in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

      Defenx, which provides security solutions for mobile devices and computers, has secured an order for 75,000 units of its parental control software.

      The software lets parents manage the content that children can access on smartphones and tablets, remotely monitor the device, including call and message history and photos, and get alerts when their child arrives or leaves specific locations. Shares advanced 2.1 per cent, or 1.5p, to 73.5p.

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