FTSE 100 movers: Auto Trader rallies on results; Sainsbury's goes ex-div
London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at 7,104.45 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Auto Trader rallied after it said a dramatic shift to buying cars online during pandemic lockdowns helped it to limit full-year losses and reinstate its dividend. The company reported a 37% fall in pre-tax profit to £157.4m as revenue fell 29% to £262.8m. A dividend of 5p a share was declared.
BT was also a high riser after multibillionaire telecoms dealmaker Patrick Drahi bought a 12.1% stake in the group to capitalise on its involvement in the rollout of faster broadband in the UK. Drahi has bought 1.2 billion BT shares through Altice UK, which he wholly owns.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "Altice is an established name in the telecoms space and the purchase of a 12% holding in BT is a significant move, matching the stake already held by Deutsche Telekom.
"While Altice says there are no plans to make a bid at the moment, one must expect it to push for change within the business, given BT needs to find a solution to its very stretched balance sheet and how the market generally has a negative view of the company.
"Selling or finding a partner for the sports broadcasting arm is one option that’s already on that table, with a successful deal letting it focus on the core telephony business.
"BT’s Openreach division is also seen as a valuable part of the operation and that could be sold off."
On the downside, Sainsbury’s was on the back foot as it traded without entitlement to the dividend.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BT Group (BT.A) 194.65p 6.28%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 611.00p 5.75%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,538.50p 2.16%
Prudential (PRU) 1,479.50p 1.93%
CRH (CDI) (CRH) 3,745.00p 1.60%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 505.20p 1.59%
Pearson (PSON) 864.80p 1.48%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 1,351.80p 1.41%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 280.90p 1.41%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,143.50p 1.32%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 897.40p -2.65%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,610.50p -2.16%
Next (NXT) 8,028.00p -1.79%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 258.00p -1.56%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 729.80p -1.54%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,505.00p -1.54%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,250.00p -1.40%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 5,138.00p -1.38%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,890.50p -1.28%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,286.00p -1.27%
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