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FTSE 100 movers: Mondi up on upgrade but NMC Health falls after update

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 20 Dec 2017

FTSE 100 movers: Mondi up on upgrade but NMC Health falls after update

(ShareCast News) - London's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,544.98 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, with volumes getting thinner as the Christmas break nears.
Paper and packaging group Mondi was the standout gainer as Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral', keeping the price target at 2,200p as it said the recent selloff offers an attractive entry point.

GS noted that since the third-quarter earnings on 11 October, the stock is down 11%, underperforming its coverage by 21%. "Mondi remains the highest-return company in our coverage; recent containerboard price increases are a tailwind for 2018 earnings, as are annual contracts resetting at higher levels. In addition, we expect ongoing capex projects to underpin growth from 2019."

Budget airline EasyJet was also flying higher on the back of an upgrade, as Panmure Gordon bumped it up to 'hold' from 'sell' and lifted the price target to 1,300p from 1,100p. The brokerage upped its FY19 pre-tax profit estimate by 20%, half from accretion and half from improving organic unit revenue trends, helped by competitor disruption.

"We remain concerned with weak free cash flow and rising leverage but accept that revenue momentum drives airline share prices; we therefore no longer expect EasyJet to underperform and move to hold."

Shire was also in the black despite a downgrade to 'hold' from 'buy' by Liberum, which said the risk/reward as now more balanced.

"We still believe that, if handled right, the update on the neuroscience strategic review due by year end could be a catalyst for the shares, but with fundamental upside now limited the risk/reward is more balanced."

Going the other way, United Arab Emirates-focussed integrated healthcare provider NMC Health fell after it said operations during the second half have continued to perform in line with expectations and that it remains comfortable with the full-year guidance provided for 2017.

BT was under the cosh after the company's offer to connect more than 1 million rural homes to superfast broadband was rejected in favour of giving UK consumers and business owners the legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020.

Risers

Mondi (MNDI) 1,889.00p 3.39%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 590.50p 1.99%
Next (NXT) 4,296.00p 1.37%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,485.00p 1.37%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 953.00p 1.33%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,688.50p 1.21%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,432.33p 1.15%
Old Mutual (OML) 221.30p 1.14%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,978.00p 1.12%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,964.00p 1.12%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

NMC Health (NMC) 2,743.00p -3.82%
BT Group (BT.A) 268.00p -2.10%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,943.00p -1.04%
3i Group (III) 892.00p -1.00%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 640.50p -0.85%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 275.10p -0.79%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 66.67p -0.71%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,700.00p -0.70%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,556.00p -0.64%
Halma (HLMA) 1,256.00p -0.63%

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