Rudd is right, say readers

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Sir Nigel Rudd has given the City a great talking point today with his remarks in an interview with Beth Rigby that most retail analysts are stupid. We have a poll running online at the moment and, although the comments are interesting, so far 70 per cent of respondents agree with Rudd, which seems a bit harsh on the analysts.

A blogger called Graeme Pietersz, a former buy- and sell-side analyst, points out: “The problem with the argument is very clear if you look at Boots’ share price over the last two years: from after the merger was announced, but before it was completed. It has barely out-performed the FTSE 100 and it has under-performed the FTSE retail index despite the takeover.”

So, are the investors stupid too, or did Sir Nigel and his team not do a good enough job of selling the story? The other possibility, of course, is that the investors and analysts were right all along and KKR’s bid will end in tears. There are echoes here of our story last year about HSBC’s global head of equity research, who said many of his analysts’ notes were “worthless”.

The FSA is well-regarded by the financial services industry, says the National Audit Office, but it needs to keep an eye on costs and improve its communication with other regulators and with regulated firms. The FSA has issued a long response in which it seems to agree with most of what the NAO says.

Isoft says talks with potential buyers are taking longer than expected but are progressing. It also said sales for the year would be at the top end of forecasts.

888 Holdings, which spent six months in talks with Ladbrokes but failed to agree a deal, says it now fancies itself more as prey than predator. It also published a reasonably strong trading update today.

Rumour of the day: Cable & Wireless shares are up strongly on hopes of a break-up. The company has denied the rumours but they were given strong impetus by a note from Citigroup.

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