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MARKET REPORT: Home Reit delays results after short-seller attack

Property group Home REIT which floated at 100p in 2020, tumbled 7 per cent, or 4.2p, to 55.5p following a delay in publishing its full-year results amid a row with a short seller.

The FTSE 250 company, which specialises in accommodation for the homeless, was due to update the market on its trading for the year to August.

But on Friday it said its results, which were audited by BDO, required further checks after allegations made by the US short-seller Viceroy Research.

Shorted: Property group Home Reit, which specialises in accommodation for the homeless,  tumbled 6.4%, following a delay in publishing its full-year results amid a row with a short seller

It will publish a ‘full response’ having labelled the report ‘inaccurate and misleading’.

Marlene Wood, chairman of the audit committee, said: ‘It is important that the company continues to adhere to the highest standards of financial reporting and we welcome the additional verification process currently being undertaken by BDO.’

Viceroy questioned Home REIT’s business model and ability to collect rent. Slightly more than 3 per cent of the stock is on loan to short sellers, with the latest position taken up by Fraser Perring.

The 49-year-old British investor, who runs Viceroy, said it is ‘working to expose corporate malfeasance and wrongdoing globally’.

Perring’s firm accused Wirecard of fraud years before the German payment processing company’s collapse, and shorted electric car maker Tesla and crypto exchange FTX at the start of this year.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent, or 12.65 points, to 7474.02 and the FTSE 250 was down by 1.3 per cent, or 253.35 points, to 19292,35.

Persimmon fell 3.7 per cent, or 49p, to 1279.5p after UBS lowered the builder’s rating to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’. 

Labelling a decision to set aside an extra £275million to cover fire safety provision as a ‘disappointment’, the broker also cut the target price by 60p.

Stock Watch –  C4X Discovery

C4X Discovery shot up after landing a major contract with AstraZeneca. The drug discovery firm agreed a deal worth up to £332.5million with the FTSE 100 pharma giant.

Astra will develop and commercialise an oral therapy to treat inflammatory and respiratory diseases.

The work will focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is mostly caused by smoking and is a major killer. 

C4X surged 14.6 per cent, or 3p, to 23.5p while Astra rose 0.9 per cent, or 96p, to 11050p.

Figures from property website Zoopla revealed one in four sellers are lowering their asking price and are likely to sell homes at a 3 per cent discount. 

Berkeley fell 1.8 per cent, or 70p, to 3774p while Barratt was down 1.9 per cent, or 7.6p, to 399.9p.

There was good news for the insurer Just Group after Jefferies initiated its coverage with a ‘buy’ rating and set a target price of 115p. 

It rose 2.3 per cent, or 1.65p ,to 74.45p. But Dr Martens fell out of fashion with Barclays who cut the British bootmaker’s target price to 270p from 375p. It fell 7 per cent, or 14p, to 193.1p.

Future suffered a difficult start to the week following a downgrade from Stifel. The magazine publisher behind Country Life and Marie Claire saw its target price slashed to 2400p from 3200p, and slid 5.9 per cent, or 91p, to 1455p.

Over at Cerillion, the billing and customer management software firm cheered record revenue and profit for a second year.

Revenue surged 26 per cent to £32.7million in the year to September while profit jumped 47 per cent to £10.9million. But shares fell 0.9 per cent, or 10p, to 1160p.

Meanwhile Induction Healthcare is cashing in on the global move to digitise hospitals. 

The group, which makes apps used by NHS hospitals for video consultations, managing appointments and allowing patients to access their records, saw its revenue rise to £12million for the year to March.

That was up from £1.5million a year earlier. But losses widened to £9.6million from £8.1million due to the cost of investing in new products. It plunged 13.7 per cent, or 5p, to 31.5p.

Marston’s hailed a boost from the World Cup matches as the pub giant pushed back the release of its full financial results until next week due to an auditing delay. 

It runs 1,468 pubs and has seen ‘encouraging’ trading since the start of last month. It said sales were around 30 per cent higher for the two England games so far. Shares climbed 0.9 per cent, or 0.38p, to 40.6p.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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