Daily Mail

Ocado rollercoas­ter ride sends shares tumbling

- By John Abiona

ShareS in Ocado tumbled nearly 17pc yesterday as its rollercoas­ter ride continued.

The online retailer-cum-technology stock slammed into reverse after a strong run that saw it more than double in value in less than five weeks.

The slump left many City observers scratching their heads with analysts putting it down to profit taking after the recent rally.

But it marked yet another day for turmoil for long- suffering shareholde­rs as well as founder and boss Tim Steiner whose 2.4pc stake is worth around £150m.

Ocado shares soared at the start of the pandemic amid booming demand for online grocery deliveries. But after peaking at close to 2900p a pop in late 2020, the stock was changing hands for less than 400p just a month ago.

The shares were back above 900p on Monday as its recent deal to build automated warehouses for Lotte in South Korea continued to provide support.

But yesterday it fell 16.8pc, or 155.4p, to 770.2p. ‘The recent rally of Ocado shares appears to have come to a shuddering halt,’ said Michael hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

‘ The shares have surged in recent days after the Lotte deal was announced, so a pullback was long overdue.’

Aston Martin shares skidded off track after analysts warned it may still need to raise fresh funds even after a cash injection over the summer.

Jefferies said the FTSe 250 luxury car maker has shored up its business but remained at least two years away from implementi­ng a ‘viable operating structure’.

raising concerns about sales volumes and its size, Jefferies lowered its rating to ‘underperfo­rm’ from ‘hold’ and slashed the target price to 120p from 530p.

Worse still, it said in a ‘downside scenario’ the stock could fall to 40p. Shares plunged 7pc, or 9.95p, to 133.1p.

aston Martin, a favourite of James Bond, raised fresh funds this summer which saw the Saudis take an 18.7pc stake, making them the second largest shareholde­r behind executive chairman Lawrence Stroll.

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.21pc, or 15.73 points, to 7369.44 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.85pc, or 166.37 points, to 19,455.88.

Imperial Brands counted the cost of withdrawin­g from russia after its profit and revenue took a hit. The cigarette maker, which pulled out of russia in april following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saw its profit fall to £2.6bn from £3.2bn in the year to September. revenue slid 0.7pc to £32.6bn. Imperial Brands sold its Volgograd factory in april and added that the loss on exit from russia was £364m. Shares slid 0.5pc, or 11p, to 2027p. Power firm Drax gained 3pc, or 16.5p, to 564p following a vote of confidence from a City broker. rBC reiterated its ‘ outperform’ rating and said it saw the recent slump in Drax’s share price as ‘misplaced’.

The broker said while a further windfall tax hike could see Drax pay an extra £1.5bn over five years, the Government may choose to be more lenient towards renewable electricit­y generators.

British Gas owner Centrica was also on the rise, up 3.4pc, or 2.82p, to 86.28p.

Investment manager Ninety One slumped on the back of a cocktail of economic woes.

The group said it endured a difficult spell amid soaring inflation, rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine and a fall in financial asset prices. assets under management dropped 8pc to £132.3bn in the six months to September while clients removed £3.2bn from the group’s funds during the period. Profits tumbled 16pc to £110.6m. Shares plunged 4.9pc, or 10.8p, to 209.2p.

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