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Fashion brand, Ted Baker, saw its woes deepen as two executives quit this week, sending share prices plummeting by 35 per cent. Chief Executive, Lindsey Page and Executive Chairman David Bernstein both left the beleaguered brand, and this was followed by a string of profit warnings following a dismal Black Friday. Ted Baker’s shares now stand at 353.20p at the time of writing, having dropped 78 per cent in value since the beginning of the year. After a turbulent year for the fashion brand can it ever get back in style or is it destined for the sale rail? Analysts have presented a bleak outlook – CMC Markets David Madden has described it as ‘a train wreck of an update’ adding that it feels like the company ‘is coming apart at the seams.’ Ted Baker slashed its full-year expectations to a minimum pre-tax profit of £5m, in light of its desultory Black Friday sales, compared to pre-tax profit of £50.9m last year. Stock had already dropped dramatically last week after the retailer disclosed a £25m balance sheet error, which is now under investigation. The retailer has been described as been in the unfortunate ‘pinched middle’ – while budget brands like Primark and luxury brands like Burberry have flourished, Ted Baker has had to resort to offloading stock through discount retailers such as TK Maxx. But some analysts have pointed to the recovery of Reiss, a similar level brand, as an example of how the retailer could be invigorated under the right leadership.
The good times are also running dry for oil giant, Tullow Oil, which saw its stock plummet by 70 per cent after a stark profit warning. The warning came with a decision to suspend the company’s dividend after production at the company’s main sites in Ghana came in significantly lower than expectations. Tullow Oil’s shares are currently back up from its Monday low of 39p, standing at 60.66p at the time of writing. But there could still be turbulent times ahead for the oil giant, it expects full year net production for 2019 to average around 87,000 barrels of oil per day and Executive Chair, Dorothy Thompson has announced the company will ‘’complete a thorough review of operations.’ Oil is a tricky business at the moment – political uncertainty, an unstable oil price and unrest surrounding the locations of Tullow’s refineries are all impacting on the company’s share price. The firm now holds the dubious record of one of the worst single day performances on the London Stock Exchange for ten years, which has to be worrying for investors. It’s not all doom and gloom though – many have pointed out that while ever the company still has its oil reserves, it has a chance of recovery, but it will have to dig deep to bounce back any time soon.
Tesco investors could be in for an early Christmas present after the supermarket chain announced it is considering selling its Asian arm, Loftus, which may be worth over £7 billion. Share prices soared five per cent in the wake of the news, now standing at 241.80p at the time of writing, and it looks likely the sale would trigger a special, one-off dividend payment for investors. So, is it worth stocking up on Tesco shares? The stock is up 22 per cent compared to the same period last year but it has seen some of its market share eaten away by budget rivals Aldi and Lidl. The Conservative majority victory in the General Election is also likely to be good news for the supermarket chain, according to some analysts, as a Labour victory might have led investors to consider the impact of higher business taxes and wages on operating costs. Some have expressed concerns about Tesco selling off its Asian arm though – while the deal may be lucrative in the short term, these markets are some of the chain’s fastest growing operations – in 2018, Malaysia and Thailand produced 13 per cent of the supermarket’s profit.
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