Market Report: Talk proves costly for Arm Holdings
Tuesday 16 April 2013
The City decreed that the smartphone microchip maker Arm Holdings was looking a bit pricey and punters quickly followed by hanging up on the Cambridge-based tech group – knocking more than 3 per cent off its price in the process.
Analysts at Liberum Capital and Société Générale both issued sell notes on the stock, raising concerns of slowing growth in the smartphone market.
Nobody is claiming the Cambridge tech star is in trouble, merely that its shares are perhaps not representative of the outlook for growth. The shares have advanced 71 per cent in the past year but recorded a 10 per cent fall in the past month.
Société Générale warned that the "two leading smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung, showed slowing growth trends" which will limit Arm's first-quarter prospects. They gave the stock a 640p price target while Liberum's scribblers are concerned that US giant Intel is gaining share in Arm's key royalty markets – smartphones and tablets. They gave the stock a 725p price target.
SocGen and Liberum are the only two analyst bears currently, ahead of its first-quarter update next week. Eleven analysts rate the stock a hold, with 10 rating it outperform. The shares fell 28.5p – or 3 per cent – to 868p.
The pessimistic stance from investors in Arm was supplemented by fears of weak numbers from US rival Intel after Wall Street closed.
The FTSE 100 took another battering with banking and oil sectors suffering after the miners' turn the day before. With no prospect of any upbeat economic updates across the world, the markets remained in negative territory and the FTSE 100 declined 39.02 to 6304.58.
Investors saw opportunity in the mining sector following Monday's heavy sell-off and silver miner Fresnillo was top of the tree, up 81p to 1,161p.
News of the long awaited go ahead for the $32bn takeover of miner Xstrata, up 19.7p to 986p, by commodities giant Glencore, 4p better off at 325.1p, pushed both stocks ahead.
The supermarket chain Tesco was in focus ahead of its full-year results today. Since its well-documented problems, it has reinvested in the UK and shares have risen by more than 10 per cent since January. But despite this recovery, and expectations that it will confirm the exit from its ill-fated US operation, some analysts are still concerned.
Espirito Santo's shop watchers said that their latest survey results show Tesco is deteriorating, not improving, in the UK.
Espirito thinks the horse meat scandal played its part but there are also plenty of other problems facing the grocery behemoth. From "Brazil to Poland to China we have heard different retailers talk of declining footfall at hypermarkets", Espirito Santo said, adding that it does not see "this pressure lifting" any time soon.
Meanwhile, the retail expert Nick Bubb believes Tesco's problems in Europe and Asia are "plenty to keep the bears happy at this stage". Espirito rates the stock a sell with a 310p target price. The shares dipped 0.25p to 384.85p.
The luxury brand Burberry was dragged down by news that the French luxury group LVMH had reported just a 3 per cent rise in fashion and leather goods for the three months to April. It was the weakest quarterly rate since 2009 and below analyst expectations. Burberry, suffering ahead of it results today, stumbled 18p to 1,266p.
Over on AIM, the chairman of pig iron specialist Ironveld bought 1 million shares in the miner. The purchase by Giles Clarke, who is the founder of Majestic Wines and Pet City and chairman of the oil explorer Amerisur as well as the England and Wales Cricket Board, accompanied a share price rise of 0.5p to 5.5p.
The luxury furnishings group Walker Greenbank's full-year pre-tax profit edged up to £4.93m and sales were up 2.3 per cent to £75.7m but it declined 2p to 98.5p.
DiamondCorp updated on its Lace Mine project in South Africa. It confirmed it now has funding from US jeweller Tiffany & Co to take its Lace mine through to full development. But the shares were lacklustre, down 0.25p to 5p.
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