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MARKET REPORT: Cyber crime fighter NCC Group sees shares plummet by 15.4% after it warns of 20% sales fall

Cyber crime specialists NCC Group plunged the moment the market opened yesterday having sneaked out an update just 15 minutes before it had closed the previous evening.

The firm had revealed it had launched a strategic review, and said full-year earnings were set to be 20 per cent below the forecast range of £45.5million to £47.5million, after sales growth had been slower than anticipated.

NCC is starting a comprehensive review of the operating strategy of its assurance division.

It will provide an update in July. Canaccord Genuity slashed its target price on the stock from 194p to 118p after the announcement. It has a ‘Sell’ rating on the firm.

Blow: NCC Group plunged the moment the market opened yesterday having sneaked out an update just 15 minutes before it had closed the previous evening

N+1 Singer also reduced from ‘Buy’ to ‘Hold’. The broker said: ‘With an extended period of uncertainty on the horizon it will be hard for investors to gain confidence in NCC in the short term. That said, we see fundamental value in the stock.’ Shares plummeted 15.4 per cent, or 19.5p, to 107p.

The FTSE 100 leapt higher, buoyed as the Dow Jones reached a new record high the day before.

The US stock market made eight consecutive days of gains for the first time since 2013 and yesterday rallied higher as it opened, looking to make it a ninth.

The FTSE 100 finished up 0.38 per cent, or 27.42 points, at 7302.25 – a fraction of a point off its all-time high.

Indivior dropped as its operating profit for the year plunged 57 per cent to £120million.

Full-year figures were hit as the pharma firm made a provision of £176million for litigation charges in the third quarter of the year.

MTI Wireless Edge advanced as it announced a new contract worth £1.4million with an existing customer.

An investigation into the Slough-based business – spun out of Reckitt Benckiser in 2014 – began when the firm was accused of trying to keep cheaper versions of its suboxone drug (used to treat opioid addiction) off the market.

The company warned that it was still in discussions with the Department of Justice in the US about a possible resolution to the probe and said the final cost may be higher than this reserve.

Yesterday, the group reported that revenue had climbed 4 per cent to £850million and said suboxone had an average market share of 61 per cent. Shares closed down 6.6 per cent, or 24.4p, to 345.2p.

McBride revealed it was considering a number of offers it had received for its aerosols business.

The firm said it had narrowed down the initial offers for the division and was making progress towards a final decision.

The aerosol division has annual revenue of £60million and operates from two sites – one in the UK and another in France.

Overall McBride, which makes household and personal care products, reported a strong first half to the year, which saw pre-tax profit soar 44.6 per cent to £18.8million.

Analysts were heartened as the firm said it was preparing for growth, but shares finished flat at 171p.

Software outfit Blue Prism Group surged as it said full-year revenue would be materially ahead of expectations.

The group secured 83 new contracts in the year, of which 49 were with new customers and 34 with existing ones. Shares soared 10.2 per cent, or 45.5p, to 492.5p.

Kromek climbed after it won a five-year contract worth £2.5million. The firm, which develops radiation detectors, is working with a US company involved in the national security market.

Kromek’s software will help detect explosives and it is the company’s first long-term contract in security screening. Shares gained 4.1 per cent, or 0.88p, to 22.38p.