Portfolio

FTSE 100 movers: Ashtead lifted by broker note; Whitbread slumps on outlook

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 25 Apr 2017

FTSE 100 movers: Ashtead lifted by broker note; Whitbread slumps on outlook

(ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,284.28 in afternoon trade, with gains more subdued following a strong session on Monday.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals was the standout gainer a day after non-executive director Mary Regina Henderson bought shares in the company.

Equipment rental firm Ashtead was among the risers after Berenberg upped its price target on the stock to 1,600p from 1,500p following revisions to earnings per share estimates.

Going the other way, Whitbread shares slumped after the Premier Inn and Costa owner beat profit forecasts for the year and reported a good start to 2017, but warned of a tougher consumer environment than last year.

Anglo American and Antofagasta were under pressure after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stocks.

It cut Antofagasta to 'sell' from 'neutral', pointing to the near-term downside risk to copper prices.

GS's economists reckon China is looking to tighten its monetary policy, which should have an impact on commodity demand. Also, with Escondida back online, the Grasberg issue being resolved and the reflation trade coming increasingly in question, the copper price rally could unwind, it added.

Goldman downgraded Anglo American to 'neutral' from 'buy', saying the upgrade in November was based on the belief that higher commodity prices, particularly iron ore and coal, would see significant FCF generation, which would lower net debt and result in a transference of value from debt to equity holders.

"This thesis held until mid-March, when the rebar price in China came under pressure, having a knock-on effect on the iron ore price (both are down c.25% from their highs).

"With the commodity price outlook increasingly bearish, we believe that Anglo's shares are likely to remain under pressure over the near term."

Risers

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,882.00p 2.17%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,655.00p 1.85%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 253.80p 1.81%
Hammerson (HMSO) 605.50p 1.76%
Glencore (GLEN) 310.75p 1.72%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,630.00p 1.45%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,126.00p 1.35%
Sage Group (SGE) 663.50p 1.22%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 234.00p 1.12%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 303.70p 1.06%

Fallers

Whitbread (WTB) 3,965.00p -7.94%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,827.00p -1.81%
Kingfisher (KGF) 331.70p -1.63%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,114.00p -1.33%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,880.00p -1.29%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 563.00p -1.05%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 832.50p -0.95%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 588.00p -0.76%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 739.00p -0.74%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,161.00p -0.68%

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