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FTSE 250 movers: Grafton gains, Sirius slides

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Thursday 11 Apr 2019

FTSE 250 movers: Grafton gains, Sirius slides

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 250 index was 0.47% higher at 19,577.36 in afternoon trade on Thursday, with Grafton heading the risers on the back of a new acquisition.
The DIY group was the best performer after it announced the acquisition of Polvo of the Netherlands from privately-owned Pallieter Group for €131m.

Analysts at Canaccord said: "Polvo is a well invested and high margin business, which Grafton can grow and expand margins further over the medium term. Post this deal the balance sheet leverage will remain very comfortable and could support a further £200-300 million of acquisitions if the opportunities materialise. Management had highlighted recently that it could drive growth with acquisitions, so this acquisition should not come as a big surprise."

Flexible office space provider IWG gained as Peel Hunt upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'hold', saying that chief executive Mark Dixon's new franchising strategy could see the share price more than double if it works out.

Dixons Carphone climbed as Barclays resumed coverage of the stock at 'overweight' with a target price of 175p, with analysts arguing that the business is implementing a sensible turnaround strategy and said they are confident that the retailer can reach its EBIT margin target of at least 3.5%.

"We are confident that Dixons Carphone can gain further market share thanks to its strategy of developing in-house services (mainly credit) and online. We believe that the group's target of generating GBP200mn of cost savings is achievable through streamlining its operations and with the completion of the merger between Dixons and Carphone. This should provide scope for Dixons Carphone to improve its offering and competitiveness," said the analysts.

Recruiter PageGroup continued to edge upward, having reported an 11.7% rise in first-quarter gross profit to £208m the day before, with solid UK and German growth offsetting a slowdown in China over trade war fears.

Sirius Minerals was the top faller, while Metro Bank was also on the back foot after Morgan Stanley cut its target price from 920p to 830p, with analysts at the investment bank stating that they saw Lloyds/HSBC as best positioned among UK banks.

In parallel, a new report into sentiment towards UK challenger banks by data firm Brands Eye found that public sentiment towards Metro had soured this year.

Finally, British electrical and electronics engineering company Ultra Electronics dropped lower as it went ex-dividend.

Market Movers

FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,577.36 0.47%


FTSE 250 - Risers

Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 859.50p 5.07%
Royal Mail (RMG) 265.90p 4.97%
IWG (IWG) 274.90p 4.72%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 144.80p 4.66%
Rank Group (RNK) 158.80p 3.66%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 295.60p 3.65%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 611.01p 3.21%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 2,345.00p 3.08%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 934.60p 2.92%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 534.50p 2.79%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Sirius Minerals (SXX) 22.06p -9.23%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 194.20p -4.05%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 786.64p -3.48%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 287.20p -3.30%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,558.00p -2.93%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 197.35p -2.69%
Polymetal International (POLY) 815.40p -2.42%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 128.00p -2.14%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,705.00p -1.79%
Funding Circle Holdings (FCH) 306.00p -1.77%

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