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HSBC hands Flutter a lift on Gold Cup day


MARKET REPORT: Investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter given a lift as analysts at HSBC hike goal price

The bookies could have edged it at Cheltenham yesterday even after Galopin Des Champs romped home within the Gold Cup on St Patrick’s Day.

And investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter got an extra boost as analysts at HSBC hiked the goal price for its shares to 16900p from 14300p.

The investment bank said the gambling giant’s plans for an extra listing within the US should lift its value, while clarity over UK regulations within the upcoming White Paper ‘may very well be a positive catalyst’.

It also hailed ‘strong’ trading within the UK and ‘excellent’ momentum within the US.

The upgrade got here as punters – many with just a few Guinnesses inside them – watched jockey Paul Townend bring home the 7-to-5 favourite ahead of Bravemansgame and Conflated.

Odds-on: Investors in Paddy Power owner Flutter got a lift by analysts at HSBC

Nonetheless, Flutter shares slid 1.5 per cent, or 205p, to 13625p, rival Entain, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral, dropped 0.5 per cent, or 6p, to 1207.5p and William Hill owner 888 slumped 8.1 per cent, or 5.15p, to 58.85p. 

The Gold Cup would have provided some much-needed respite for a lot of within the City at the tip of a tumultuous week. The FTSE 100 was off 1 per cent, or 74.63 points, to 7335.4, in one other grim session for London’s premier index. The FTSE 250 fell by 1.5 per cent, or 287.75 points, to 18470.83.

Rising metal prices boosted mining stocks with Glencore gaining 2.2 per cent, or 9.45p, to 432.65p, Anglo American rising 1 per cent, or 25p, to 2504p, Fresnillo advancing 1.8 per cent, or 12.2p, to 710p. Rio Tinto, nevertheless, lost 0.6 per cent, or 31p, to 5250p.

Investors made one other dash for safe-haven assets, helping to lift gold producer Endeavour Mining 2.4 per cent, or 42p, to 1760p. Oil prices slipped to around $73 a barrel as demand was hit by fears over the health of the worldwide economy.

Bodycote, the warmth treatment specialist, was amongst those firms that did enjoy a positive trading session. Revenue rose 20.8 per cent to £743.6m for 2022. Profit jumped 23 per cent to £95.3m. Shares gained 5.9 per cent, or 34p, to 615.5p.

Talks over a possible takeover of John Wood Group will go on after the engineering group asked for its potential buyer to be given one other month to table a suggestion.

US private equity giant Apollo has tabled 4 bids, including its latest offer of 237p a share.’

Its deadline to make a suggestion by March 22 has been prolonged to 5pm on April 19. Analysts at Jefferies said their ‘upside scenario’ can be a suggestion of 290p a share.

Shares were up 1.5 per cent, or 3p, to 205.9p. The boss of BT was slapped on the wrist by the telecoms watchdog after he said his company’s network expansion will ‘end in tears’ for a few of its competitors.

Ofcom delayed the conclusion of its investigation right into a recent Openreach pricing plan as its chief executive Melanie Dawes wrote in a letter to Philip Jansen that his comments caused ‘significant concern’. Shares tumbled 6.1 per cent, or 8.9p, to 137.75p.

Meanwhile, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) rose 2 per cent, or 144p, to 7470p after UBS raised its rating to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ and increased the goal price to 8700p from 8500p. The broker put this right down to an improved forecast for LSEG’s Trading & Banking (T&B) division.

GSK gained 1 per cent, or 13.8p, to 1400.8p after Deutsche Bank upgraded the corporate’s stock to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and lifted the goal price to 1700p from 1500p.

But private equity group Bridgepoint sank 10.1 per cent, or 21.7p, to 193.7p after Peel Hunt cut the corporate’s rating to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ and lowered its goal price to 220p from 340p.

Technical products supplier Diploma raised £235m alongside buying Tennessee Industrial Electronics for around £76m Shares rose 3.2 per cent, or 84p, to 2720p.

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