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FTSE 250 movers: Beazley blues; Sports Direct fitter

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Friday 20 Jul 2018

FTSE 250 movers: Beazley blues; Sports Direct fitter

(Sharecast News) - Insurer Beazley hit the FTSE 250 top 10 fallers on Friday after the company reported lower first-half profits as it paid out more for claims and investment returns declined but top-line growth was strong as rates firmed.
Pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June fell 64% to $57.5m (£44m) from a year earlier. Gross written premiums rose 15% to $1.32bn.

Net insurance claims rose to $549.5m from $438.9m. The Lloyd's of London insurer has paid out a total of $238m for hurricanes, earthquakes and fires that hit the US and Mexico in 2017, in line with its expectations.

Sports Direct shares bounced back from their pasting after reporting poor results on Thursday. The stock received a boost when RBC Capital Markets upped its price target to 360p from 325p due to a better outlook for FY19 and lower net debt.

It said the stock's valuation already discounts a solid earnings recovery, hence it remains underperform.

RBC said full-year revenue was a little soft and inventories were up 30% on the year, reflecting a tougher end to the year and a build of more premium product. Gross margin was weaker than expected, reflecting higher inventory provisions, but costs were lower due to provisioning for onerous leases and litigation and more automated warehousing.

"We think SPD should be able to deliver double-digit EBITDA growth in FY19 due to a good World Cup and as it is now well covered on dollar hedging, at circa $1.36 for FY19 and circa $1.41 for FY20 versus circa 1.30 for FY18.

Euromoney Institutional Investor shares were lower after the company on Thursday said underlying revenue in the quarter to 30 June was flat compared to last year when adjusted for exchange-rate differences, acquisitions, disposals and discontinued operations.

Reported revenue of £107.9m for the quarter was down 9% compared to last year, which the board said was largely due to exchange and the sale of the Global Markets Intelligence Division (GMID), which was an entirely subscription-based business.

On the upside, HomeServe was a little higher as the emergency home repairs group said trading has been as expected during its traditionally quieter first quarter.

The group reiterated that it saw good prospects for growth in the year ahead, with attractive opportunities in all its regions.

Market Movers

FTSE 250 (MCX) 20,857.82 -0.24%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,628.50p 5.20%
FirstGroup (FGP) 92.16p 3.96%
AA (AA.) 112.00p 3.85%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 185.90p 3.58%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 418.80p 3.41%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 231.40p 3.30%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 516.04p 2.19%
Drax Group (DRX) 358.80p 2.16%
Superdry (SDRY) 1,394.00p 2.12%
Playtech (PTEC) 531.60p 2.00%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Just Group (JUST) 121.10p -5.59%
Hays (HAS) 193.80p -5.56%
Contour Global (GLO) 230.00p -4.17%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 315.10p -4.05%
Beazley (BEZ) 536.00p -3.86%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,368.00p -3.25%
Equiniti Group (EQN) 210.00p -2.78%
Workspace Group (WKP) 1,107.00p -2.48%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 95.75p -2.35%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 1,482.00p -2.31%


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