MARKET REPORT: Home Reit delays results after short-seller attack

After a delay in publishing full-year results due to a dispute with a short seller, the property group Home REIT, which was floated at 100p in 2020 fell 7.2p or 4.2p to 55.5p.

The FTSE 250, which specializes in providing accommodation for homeless people, was to update the market about its trading for the period August to August.

It said that its results were not audited by BDO and needed further scrutiny due to allegations by Viceroy Research, a short-seller in the United States.

Shorted: Property group Home Reit, which specialises in accommodation for the homeless,  tumbled 6.4%, following a delay in publishing its full-year results amid a row with a short seller

It will publish a ‘full response’ having labelled the report ‘inaccurate and misleading’.

Marlene Wood, chairman of the audit committee, said: ‘It is important that the company continues to adhere to the highest standards of financial reporting and we welcome the additional verification process currently being undertaken by BDO.’

Viceroy questioned Home REIT’s business model and ability to collect rent. Fraser Perring has taken over the latest position, which shows that slightly more than 3 percent of the stock is being loaned to short sellers.

The 49-year-old British investor, who runs Viceroy, said it is ‘working to expose corporate malfeasance and wrongdoing globally’.

Perring’s firm accused Wirecard of fraud years before the German payment processing company’s collapse, and shorted electric car maker Tesla and crypto exchange FTX at the start of this year.

The FTSE 100 dropped 0.2%, or 12.65 points to 7474.02, while the FTSE 250 fell by 1.3 percent, or 253.35 point, to 19292,35.

Persimmon fell 3.7 per cent, or 49p, to 1279.5p after UBS lowered the builder’s rating to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’. 

Labelling a decision to set aside an extra £275million to cover fire safety provision as a ‘disappointment’, the broker also cut the target price by 60p.

Stock Watch –  C4X Discovery

C4X Discovery After landing a major contract from AstraZeneca the stock price shot up. The drug discovery firm agreed a deal worth up to £332.5million with the FTSE 100 pharma giant.

Astra will market an oral treatment to treat respiratory and inflammatory diseases.

The focus of the research will be on chronic obstructive and pulmonary disease, which is a major killer. 

C4X rose 14.6p or 3p to 23.5p. Astra rose 0.9p or 96p. To 11050p, Astra gained 0.9p.

Figures from property website Zoopla revealed one in four sellers are lowering their asking price and are likely to sell homes at a 3 per cent discount. 

Berkeley dropped 1.8 percent, or 70p to 3774p, while Barratt fell 1.9percent, or 7.6p to 399.9p.

There was good news for the insurer Just Group after Jefferies initiated its coverage with a ‘buy’ rating and set a target price of 115p. 

It rose 2.3% or 1.65p to 74.45p. But Dr Martens fell out of fashion with Barclays who cut the British bootmaker’s target price to 270p from 375p. It dropped 7 percent, or 14p to 193.1p.

Following a Stifel downgrade, Future had a difficult start of the week. The target price for Country Life magazine and Marie Claire magazine was slashed from 3200p to 2400p. Future’s share price fell to 14.55p or 91p.

Cerillion, the billing software company for customer management and billing, celebrated record revenue and profit in its second year.

Revenue surged 26 per cent to £32.7million in the year to September while profit jumped 47 per cent to £10.9million. However, shares dropped 0.9 percent, or 10p to 1160p.

Induction Healthcare, however, is profiting from the global push to digitize hospitals. 

The group, which makes apps used by NHS hospitals for video consultations, managing appointments and allowing patients to access their records, saw its revenue rise to £12million for the year to March.

That was up from £1.5million a year earlier. But losses widened to £9.6million from £8.1million due to the cost of investing in new products. It fell 13.7 percent, or 5p to 31.5p

Marston’s hailed a boost from the World Cup matches were delayed by the delay in auditing that caused the pub giant to delay the release of its full financial results. 

It runs 1,468 pubs and has seen ‘encouraging’ trading since the start of last month. It said sales were around 30 per cent higher for the two England games so far. The shares rose 0.9 percent, or 0.38p to 40.6p.

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