Simon English: Analysts' retrospective information is shameful
Outlook What's the point of City analysts? Sometimes their job seems to be to alert investors to things that have already happened. Getting the future right, while admittedly difficult, is not something they seem ever able to do convincingly.
As the fizz was streaking out of Britvic shares yesterday after the company admitted its recall of various fruity drinks could end up costing it £25m, supposed experts were scrabbling to rewrite their "forecasts".
Without apparent shame, the broker Canaccord Genuity cut its recommendation to investors on Britvic to sell and slashed the target price for the shares from 310p to 200p.
This advice would have been useful any time until yesterday. By then it was not much better than useless. Surely it would have been better for the broker to have stuck to its guns, to argue that the stock will quickly recover.
Canaccord weren't the only ones. Panmure Gordon also now advises selling the shares – thanks chaps –and cuts its estimate of what the stock is worth from 350p to 250p, which is roughly where they now are.
UBS says that shares it yesterday thought were worth 370p should now be valued at just 315p.
For stable-door/horse-bolting behaviour, this lot are nearly as bad as credit ratings agencies.
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