Market Report: 'Radical action' is needed at Unilever to reach Liberum's target

The City had its eye on the break-up of consumer goods giants yesterday as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were in the spotlight.

Ice creams-to-soap group Unilever was the subject of musings from Pablo Zuanic at Liberum Capital when he stated it will take a "high profile shareholder activist to unleash" value there. Unilever is due to hold an investment seminar today and Mr Zuanic warned "radical hands-on action" was needed to reach his target price of 2,900p. But Unilever was unmoved at 2,418p.

Meanwhile analysts at UBS cautioned that the possible sell-off of the pharmaceutical arm of the Cillit Bang-to-French's Mustard consumer goods giant Reckitt might not raise as much as hoped. UBS said the valuation is "much greater" than is "likely to be released" if they sell it. UBS issued a double downgrade – rating it Sell – and warned risks to profits of the arm after 2016 are "being overlooked by management". UBS reduced its price target to 4,550p as Reckitt slipped back 49p to 4,816p.

The wider market continued its losing streak and finished the fourth day on the trot in the red. The FTSE 100 lost 22.46 points to 6,509.97.

Banks were out of favour after EU fines for Libor fixing. Barclays declined 3.4p to 262.8p while a shock profit warning pushed Standard Chartered to the bottom of the blue-chip index as it lost 92.5p to 1,338.5p.

Supermarket group Tesco spent the past few weeks warning the City its sales growth would be weak and analysts followed by issuing downgrades. By the time it announced its third quarter results yesterday the 1.5 per cent decline in sales was expected and Tesco edged down just 1.6p to 340p.

Vague chatter about telecoms takeovers focused on TalkTalk as some speculated it might be in the sights of larger rivals such as EE or Vodafone. Others suggested the rumours were nonsense but the stock still dialled up a 6.1p gain to 269.8p on the mid-tier table.

AIM-listed fuel technology specialist Velocys, previously Oxford Catalysts, got the attention of buyers and volume went through the roof as it added 5.25p to 157.5p.

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

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

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Audit Manager Central Functions

To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...

Credit Risk Audit Manager

Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week