BZW criticised over advice to Premier

BZW came under fire yesterday for apparently changing its advice to Premier Farnell on Wednesday morning, abruptly reversing a previous recommendation to the company that it did not need to warn the market of an expected shortfall in profits.

The meltdown in the electronic component distributor's share price continued yesterday as finance director Andrew Fisher went on a hasty tour of City brokers to explain Wednesday's warning, which was finally made only two minutes before the market closed.

Shares in Premier Farnell plunged another 112.5p to 520p yesterday as the market took stock of the company's warning that weak trading conditions in both the US and UK, coupled with the strength of the pound, would reduce profits in the year that ends today to 8 per cent less than most analysts expected.

The role of BZW in the share price collapse is the latest embarrassment for the broker, which was criticised before Christmas for its role in CalEnergy's takeover of Northern Electric and for the way in which it handled a downgraded profits forecast for RJB Mining, another client.

Concerns about trading at Premier Farnell trickled into the market throughout the day on Wednesday after the company failed to show up at scheduled meetings with analysts to discuss trading in the year that was drawing to a close.

Brokers were seething yesterday about what what was described as a bungled statement. One analyst said: "They have been extremely naive and had terrible advice."

The broker said the company appeared to have no understanding of the extent of the disappointment felt in the City, only a year after the company had had to work hard to persuade shareholders of the merits of its ambitious acquisition of the much larger US Premier operation.

Analysts said yesterday's meetings with Mr Fisher, who was deputising for chief executive Howard Poulson, on business in California, were "very disappointing". The company, they said, had not really explained the gap between expectations at the time of the Premier deal and the latest forecast from house broker BZW of about pounds 170m for the year to January 1998.

The company blamed trading at a subsidiary which had been sold in December and currency effects but analysts said a question mark still remained.

Comment, page 21

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral