(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 250 was up 1.5% to 18,940.40 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
WH Smith was the standout gainer after Peel Hunt upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'hold', saying the acquisition of US airport retailer InMotion is a dial mover and highlighting "surprisingly strong" current trading.
"Our knee-jerk reaction to the InMotion (IM) deal was upbeat and, the more that we look at it strategically, the more excited we become," said Peel.
"A glance at the passengers on any form of transport suggests that two trends are rampant: athleisure and digital accessories.
WH Smith is tapping into demand for the latter in the biggest travel retail market of all with this EPS-enhancing acquisition. "It is the wider strategic opportunity that gets us really excited though: IM's relationships with landlords can unlock the door to WH Smith Travel's core format appearing in the US, and its infrastructure has capacity to help out too." Inchcape was also a high riser after Barclays upgraded the car dealership to 'overweight' from 'underweight'. IT outsourcer Computacenter crashed after posting a 3% drop in overall third-quarter revenue to £900m due to "significantly more challenging comparison".
Softcat lost ground in sympathy. IWG was on the back foot as Berenberg cut its stance on the flexible office space provider to 'sell' from 'hold', saying it expects continued pressure on pricing and growth. "As a result, until the company proves it has stabilised the top line and gross margin in its mature business, we believe the earnings risk remains weighted to the downside," it said. Intu Properties fell after the shopping centre owner said it had given a consortium led by its deputy chairman John Whittaker until 15 November to make an offer.
It's likely that the stock was being dragged lower by a downgrade to 'reduce' from 'buy' at AlphaValue. FTSE 250 - Risers WH Smith (SMWH) 1,972.00p 8.41% Inchcape (INCH) 545.00p 6.86% TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,676.00p 5.41% IMI (IMI) 1,013.00p 4.81% Convatec Group (CTEC) 166.15p 4.73% Meggitt (MGGT) 533.80p 4.54% Tullow Oil (TLW) 224.80p 4.51% On The Beach Group (OTB) 425.00p 4.42% TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 204.20p 4.40% Petrofac Ltd.
(PFC) 579.00p 4.25% FTSE 250 - Fallers Computacenter (CCC) 1,097.60p -12.61% Softcat (SCT) 645.28p -5.80% Ferrexpo (FXPO) 206.10p -4.54% Amigo Holdings (AMGO) 218.55p -3.27% IWG (IWG) 231.90p -3.05% Inmarsat (ISAT) 452.50p -2.63% Kier Group (KIE) 879.50p -1.73% LondonMetric Property (LMP) 179.20p -1.70% Intu Properties (INTU) 195.70p -1.41% Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 338.00p -1.40%
Investors should be aware that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and that the price of shares and other investments, may fall as well as rise and the amount realised may be less than the original sum invested.
Walker Crips Group plc (Old Change House, 128 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BJ), registered in England, registered number 1432059, incorporates the following companies which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority: Walker Crips Investment Management Limited registered in England number 4774117 member of the London Stock Exchange, Walker Crips Wealth Management Limited registered in England number 3790291, Ebor Trustees Limited registered in England number 3514268, Barker Poland Asset Management LLP registered in England and Wales number OC341149.