Over the past month there has been significant movement within the listed UK motor retailer stocks, along with a flurry of results announcements. Generally speaking the results disclosed for the first quarter of the year have been positive and this has led to an improved sentiment, although this has taken a knock in recent days. This may be the first impact from a lower-than-expected new car footfall being felt during May.
The most significant mover over the past month has been Pendragon, which saw a share price rise of over 40 per cent during the second half of April in advance of its interim management statement. The majority of these gains have since been given up, with the share price declining after the announcement of the results and the fact that their chairman will be standing down.
This boardroom reshuffle is nothing compared to the re-organisation at HR Owen following the appointment of its’ new chairman, Jon Walden. This month has seen the departure of the company’s chief executive Nick Lancaster along with three other board members. The share price has been remarkably stable in light of this significant structural change, holding on to the majority of gains seen during April. Given that the shares are thinly held this is not surprising, however it will remain to be seen whether any of the significant shareholders (including Bentley) choose to exit as a result of this change in direction.
Lookers has continued its steady growth pattern with the share price having gained 25 per cent from the start of the year, albeit with a drop in the third week of May. The interim results for the first quarter ‘exceeded expectations’ leading management to look forward to a strong first half of 2010.
Inchcape has also shown positive share price growth after a sluggish start to the year. A wider international perspective provides the opportunity for Inchcape to prosper should the UK lag behind the rest of the world in the speed of economic recovery.
Vertu has released full year results during the last month which showed a positive picture, however this has not been reflected in the company’s share price. Despite robust results and positive statements from industry experts about how they are positioned to take advantage of opportunities during the current year the share price remains below its value at the start of the year.
In addition since listing at the start of April, Cambria has shown a steady decline to 80 per cent of listing value, albeit with very limited volume being traded and no company announcements having been made.
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