STOCKS TO WATCH: Shareholders of THG must feel they are chasing rainbows, each time the froth bubbles away, shares are worse off than ever
Long-suffering shareholders of Matt Moulding’s The Hut Group must feel they are chasing rainbows, from promises of corporate governance changes to murmurs of private equity interest.
Each time the froth bubbles away, the tech firm’s shares are worse off than ever.
Three weeks ago, the board said it had received a preliminary approach of £1.70 a share, breathing life back into the stock.
Long-suffering: THG has been promising to ditch Matt Moulding’s controlling ‘golden share’ – which lets him veto bids
Last week, Belerion Capital and Nick Candy separately ditched their interest.
The stock hit a record low of 74p last week.
Despite the arrival of chairman Charles Allen, assurances that reports will be more comprehensive and promises to ditch Moulding’s controlling ‘golden share’ – which lets him veto bids – things seem worse than ever.
THG has said it received a number of ‘unacceptable’ bids.
But feel for the shareholders who have their own opinion about what is unacceptable at the group.
Next mergers and acquisitions frenzy among small-caps
Aside from THG, it is hard to believe there are firms left to buy on the London Stock Exchange, but Peel Hunt analysts say the next mergers and acquisitions frenzy will be among small-caps.
Offers for those outside the FTSE 350 ‘seem inevitable’ as the market loses value.
And it comes as 14 proposed and announced offers for UK firms have emerged within weeks.
Weaker sterling should also ‘increase appetite from overseas’.
This could be time for value hunters to sit pretty, waiting for another firm to pounce.
JD Sports followers still waiting for results
JD Sports followers will hope this is the week the tracksuit and trainer-seller finally releases full-year results.
Investors are in the dark about when the figures will land.
Last month, JD promised to publish the data ‘in early to mid-June’, but with the solstice days away there’s still no sign of them.
When pressed by The Mail on Sunday, the FTSE 100 firm would only say: ‘Not yet, but soon.’
JD, where boss Peter Cowgill was recently ousted, insists this is not a case of bad numbers taking longer to add up, blaming technical accounting issues.
It expects profits for the year to January 29 of £940million.
Stock market rules say the accounts must be sent to shareholders three weeks before the July 21 annual meeting.
The clock is ticking.
Cost-of-living crisis stalks Fever-Tree
The cost-of-living crisis will cast a long shadow over Fever-Tree, judging by hedge fund moves.
Last week, two of the group’s three short-sellers, BlackRock and CapeView Capital, ramped up their bets on the posh tonic maker.
A record 7.18 per cent – or £118 million – of stock is on loan to groups who will make money if Fever-Tree’s share price falls, making it the third-most shorted London stock, behind Cineworld and Boohoo.
The former stock market darling stood by its annual forecast in an update last month.
But inflation poses the risk of high-end sales losing their fizz for cash-strapped drinkers.
Contributor: Patrick Tooher