July is a busy month with earnings announcements, trading updates, interim and year-end results coming thick and fast. There’s a frenzy of activity as UK listed companies scramble to meet stock exchange reporting requirements and get their numbers out the door before their leadership teams – and a large swathe of their workforce – depart for their well-earned August breaks.
Yesterday was affectionately known as ‘Super Thursday’ the stock watcher’s equivalent of the retail sector’s ‘Black Friday’ with over 50 FTSE 350 businesses making announcements including AstraZeneca, British American Tobacco, Diageo, Foxtons, Lloyds, National Express, Sky and Thomas Cook. As this flurry of financial reporting reached its peak and investors, city analysts and financial journalists went for a much-needed lie-down (or a beer or two) we looked at which businesses made the news.
We took the FTSE 100 top ten winners and losers in terms of percentage change of share price and took a quick snapshot of their media coverage. Using Signal monitor, we analysed and compared the media mentions each of them got over the last two week period.
The table below shows the current top ten best and worst performers in the FTSE 100.
FTSE 100: Best and worst performers based on share price % change*
The chart below shows how many times these 20 companies appeared in online, print and broadcast news stories in the last two weeks.
FTSE 100 best and worst performers: Media mentions in the last two weeks**
With the notable exception of Anglo American, the five companies with the most mentions were those that had reported poor results; experienced a slowdown in growth or adjusted their forecasts down which in turn saw their share price tumble.
Lloyds Banking Group topped the chart on mentions. Following a recent reshuffle at the top and a £1.1 billion provision for the mis-selling of PPI, the bank failed to meet expectations reporting a pre-tax profit of £2.5 billion versus a target of £2.9 billion.
Anglo American was next up. They hit the headlines as their swing into profit enabled them to resume making dividend payments six months ahead of schedule. However, this good news was tempered with the announcement that the company was setting aside $101 million for a possible settlement of a class action lawsuit relating to health issues contracted by miners in South Africa.
The energy giant SSE ranked third. They’ve had a difficult time of it since raising their prices by 7% in April and losing a load of customers to competitors as a result.
In fourth position was Provident Financial, with news of £115.3m of pre-tax profit in H1-17 compared to £148.9m in the same period last year.
The Bradford based supermarket company Morrisons was fifth in the list. They’ve lost market share to Aldi and Lidl who appear to be winning on both price and customer service.
However, reading between the lines, the real story is that with so many trading updates in such rapid succession there are not enough column inches to go around. The financial journalists and business news reporters can’t pour through every announcement and more than ever the numbers have to do the talking. How will you ensure you get your key points across in your next announcement?
*Share price snapshot data was taken at 13.00 BST on 27-Jul 2017
**Global mentions of the organisation between 13-Jul to 27-Jul 2017