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FTSE 100 at the close: Intercontinental Hotels, Beazley

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By Patrick Munnelly, Market Strategist, Tickmill

UK stocks traded lower on Monday, shedding just over 1% in a less than stellar start to the fourth quarter, as investor sentiment soured, driven by further lacklustre economic data,

The UK manufacturing sector continued to decline in September, although at a slightly slower pace than in August, according to a report.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for September was 44.3, up slightly from August’s 39-month low of 43.0.

However, it remains among the weakest readings in the past 14 years.

All five sub-indices of the PMI, including new orders, output, employment, stocks of purchases, and supplier delivery times, indicated a weakening of the sector’s performance.


FTSE 100 biggest movers

On the negative side of the ledger Beazley plc [LON:BEZ], the London-based insurance company, sits bottom of the index losing 4.25% by the end of the session.

This comes amidst a unanimous “Buy” rating from eight brokerages that cover the firm, according to Bloomberg Ratings.

This positive consensus reflects the confidence of these equity research analysts in Beazley’s prospects.

Furthermore, recent insider trading activity highlights the faith within the company itself.

On September 7th, insider Robert A. Stuchbery purchased 9,505 shares of Beazley stock at an average cost of GBX 530 ($6.47) per share. This transaction amounted to a total consideration of £50,376.50 ($61,517.28).

It is worth noting that corporate insiders own 2.76% of the company’s stock.

On the positive side of the ledger, Intercontinental Hotel Group [LON:IHG] tops the table, gaining over 1% by the close.

The group is expected to release its third-quarter update on October 20, and US bank Jefferies anticipates strong numbers with no signs of a consumer slowdown.

Jefferies predicts that revenue per room (revpar) for the hotel owner will be up 10.2% year-on-year, primarily driven by robust pricing, which is expected to increase by 8%.

Additionally, Jefferies foresees the possibility of another US$250 million buyback and the potential for an additional US$500 million in 2024.

Such buybacks would likely lead to 2-4% earnings per share (EPS) upgrades in the future.

When combined with the company’s ability to execute well in challenging times and its current valuation, Jefferies rates IHG shares as a ‘Buy’ with a price target of £64.

This suggests confidence in the company’s performance and its potential for further growth.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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