(Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Friday.
FTSE 100 - WINNERS
Diageo, up 0.7%. Morgan Stanley upgraded the distiller to Overweight from Equal Weight.
FTSE 100 - LOSERS
Homeserve, down 3.5%. The home emergency cover provider finds itself on the brink of automatic demotion from the large-cap index ahead of the FTSE Russell index review changes next week. Homeserve currently ranks 115th in the FTSE 350 by market capitalisation, just below the safety threshold at 110th place, with a total market value of GBP3.4 billion.
FTSE 250 - LOSERS
JD Wetherspoon, down 3.0%. The pub chain complained bitterly about the UK government's post-lockdown tier system, which effectively forces almost half of its about 870 pubs to close. Just 13 Wetherspoon pubs in England are in areas classified as Tier 1, under the new UK virus restrictions that go into place from next week. In addition, there are 51 pubs in Wales, where the regulations equate to Tier 1 in England. For Wetherspoon, Tier 2 affects 435 pubs. This tier includes 17 pubs in Scotland where the regulations approximate to Tier 2 in England, the pub chain said. Wetherspoon highlighted that it has 366 pubs which will remain closed. Of these, 315 are in Tier 3 in England and 51 are in Northern Ireland and Scotland. These 51 pubs have similar restrictions to Tier 3 in England.
Virgin Money UK, down 2.5%. Citigroup downgraded the challenger bank to Neutral from Buy. Earlier this week, the lender reported a jump in credit impairment charges, which it said reflected a "cautious approach to an uncertain economic environment".
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - WINNERS
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings, up 25%. The diagnostic solutions provider announced that two rapid Covid-19 test kits are now available for sale in the UK and Europe, provided by the company's partners. The two tests provide a result within 15 minutes and will be available in CE mark-accepting countries. Immunodiagnostic Systems said the SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid test kits can be performed by a trained healthcare professional in community locations, such as workplaces and schools. The company did not name its partners for the tests. The two tests, one using a cassette format and the other a test card format, have a sensitivity of 97% and 92%, respectively.
Reach, up 1.5%. The newspaper, magazine and digital publisher said revenue has seen a decline towards the close of its financial year but boasted of a growing online business, giving the company confidence going forward. For the five months to November 22, revenue fell 14% year-on-year with print revenue driving the decline, having fallen 20% itself. Reach however said it saw strong digital revenue growth of 16, and it claimed increased customer engagement. "Circulation sales have remained resilient despite the recent lockdowns, supported by management action on availability and increased cross-promotion of national and regional titles," Reach said. The media firm added that it expects these trends continue into December, although noted that it is difficult to make any forecasts due to the macroeconomic uncertainties. Reach has "significantly" reduced costs as part of a new, more efficient operating model.
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - LOSERS
Walker Crips Group, down 4.5%. The stockbroker posted a swing to loss for the first half of financial 2021 as revenue declined due to the pandemic but noted a recent improvement in its performance. For the six months ended September 30, Walker Crips posted pretax loss of GBP374,000, winging from a profit of GBP617,000 the year prior. This was a revenue declined 7.7% year-on-year to GBP14.4 million from GBP15.6 million as financial markets fell as a result of the pandemic. Assets under management and administration as at September 30 was GBP4.8 billion, down from GBP5.1 billion at the same time last year. An interim dividend of 0.15p was declared, a 75% reduction from 0.60p paid the year prior.
By Arvind Bhunjun; email@example.com
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