FTSE 100 movers: Imperial Brands rallies; CRH hit by downgrade

Mon 08 Jul 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London\'s FTSE 100 was flat at 7,552.38 in afternoon trade on Monday.
Imperial Brands was the standout gainer on the top-flight index as the company announced a share buyback worth up to 200m and said it was revising its dividend policy.

The tobacco company reaffirmed its 10% dividend growth for the current financial year and said the revised dividend policy thereafter will be progressive, growing annually from the current level, taking into account the performance of the underlying business.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: \"Imperial Brands\' large, stable and growing dividend has been the stock\'s main attraction for decades. Recently though that hasn\'t been enough to support the share price, which is down over 50% since 2016 despite dividends rising by 10% a year.

\"With the dividend yield now over 10%, management have clearly decided enough is enough, and while payments to shareholders will continue to grow going forwards, share buybacks and debt reduction have moved up the list of priorities.\"

Peer British American Tobacco also rose.

On the downside, building materials group CRH was on the back foot as Barclays downgraded the stock to \'equalweight\' from \'overweight\'. \"CRH provides exposure to superior market positions in both North America and Europe, and to some recovery potential in the Philippines. Nevertheless, this is largely reflected in the stock\'s premium valuation. We find cheaper alternatives in the sector.\"

Schroders was also lower as Barclays cut its stance on shares of the asset manager to \'equalweight\' as it reached the bank\'s price target, while Ocado slumped ahead of its half-year results on Tuesday.

IAG flew lower as its British Airways airline faces a record 183m fine for last year\'s beach of its security systems.

FTSE 100 - Risers

Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,998.80p 1.94%
Fresnillo (FRES) 895.40p 1.70%
BHP Group (BHP) 1,985.40p 1.52%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,026.00p 1.41%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,785.50p 1.31%
Experian (EXPN) 2,396.00p 1.31%
ITV (ITV) 112.45p 1.26%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 5,714.00p 1.03%
Diageo (DGE) 3,461.50p 1.02%
St James\'s Place (STJ) 1,147.00p 0.97%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,178.00p -3.84%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 608.60p -2.09%
CRH (CRH) 2,634.00p -1.86%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 448.00p -1.86%
Schroders (SDR) 3,056.00p -1.48%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 359.10p -1.45%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,895.68p -1.39%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,441.00p -1.32%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,770.00p -1.26%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 853.60p -1.18%
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