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Is Fevertree losing its fizz as its share price tumbles further? The premium drinks manufacturer seems to have fallen out of favour of late – its shares have tumbled 37 per cent in the past year, now standing at 1770p at the time of writing. So, can Fevertree bounce back and refresh its investors or has it finally gone flat? Opinions are divided on this one – some believe that the brand has placed too much emphasis on the gin and tonic market and, while it’s still the drink du jour at the moment, eventually its growth potential will stall. A disappointing summer, evidenced in Fevertree’s July results, which showed UK sales growth had slowed to 4.7%, and an influx of competitors upping their game, including a proliferation of premium supermarket mixers, has led some analysts to predict the stock could fall further. Some, however, disagree feeling that while its trading at a forward earnings ratio of 30 Fevertree could be a good value entry point for investors.
Luxury fashion brand Burberry is impressing in the style stakes and the stock market, with share prices surging more than 8% after a stellar trading statement. Despite trade wars in Hong Kong, the high-end label revealed an 11 per cent rise in pre tax profits, to £193m for the period to the end of September and share prices were standing at 2129.00p at the time of writing. So, what do these results mean in the long-term – can investor’s still cash in on the British brand’s cache? Existing shareholders will certainly be impressed as earnings per share have risen from 31.6p a year ago to 36.4p, and Chief Executive Marco Gobbeti confirmed that Burberry is on track to meet its full year expectations. Designer Ricardo Tisci’s revamped designs seem to have been a hit, and Burberry’s ability to negate political uncertainty – particularly in Hong Kong, one of its key markets – has led the majority of analysts to opt for a ‘buy’ rating. One or two have questioned whether its pricey at 23.2 times forward earnings but these results suggest that the fashion brand’s turnaround strategy has got off to a good start.
Transport giant, FirstGroup, has seen its share price plummet after a disappointing trading statement which looks to have been impacted by the group’s troubled US Greyhound arm. After slashing the value of Greyhound in a bid to attract buyers, FirstGroup has seen its shares fall 20 per cent to 103.00p at the time of writing. FirstGroup revealed a pre-tax loss of £187.1m in the period to September, compared with £4.6m in the same period a year earlier. Greyhound has been a major thorn in the transport group’s side, with FirstGroup revealing it had taken a £124.4 impairment charge on the US coach company. The firm said its full-year expectations remain unchanged and the recent award of the Wet Coast Partnership rail franchise, with Italian firm Trenitalia, has added a lift, although the tender award is under scrutiny due to competition concerns. Analysts are not hugely optimistic though – Peel Hunt, for example, said consensus forecasts are “unlikely to increase as these positive effects will be mitigated by the likely introduction of IFRS 16 into forecasts”.
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