Just Eat was under pressure on Tuesday amid confusion about whether recent warm weather in its core UK market has been holding back demand.
Shares in the takeaway ordering website slipped nearly 4 per cent after Goldman Sachs, its joint house broker, said management had cautioned during a meeting that soaring temperatures during early September had hit order growth. The UK provides nearly two-thirds of Just Eat’s group revenue.
Then, late in the day, Goldman sent a correction to clients. Management had meant only that orders were 5 per cent lower than average on hot days and 5 per cent higher in bad weather, Goldman explained, so a 10 per cent order shortfall would require every day to be sunny this year having been rainy last year.
Repeating “buy” advice, the broker added that weather guidance was “unlikely to be a material surprise”.
Just Eat closed 1.8 per cent lower at 540p, on double the average volume.
A one-month low for sterling helped underpin the wider market, lifting the FTSE 100 by 0.3 per cent, or 17.24 points, to 6,830.79.
The leaderboard was dominated by dollar earners such as Worldpay, ahead 1.8 per cent to 303.5p, and Johnson Matthey, up 1.9 per cent to £32.72.
Airlines were the sharpest fallers with HSBC advising investors to sell the sector due to an “unhealthy” 2017 outlook.
The benefit of cheaper fuel will shrink next year while revenue per available seat mile will continue to fall as the industry enters “an old-fashioned cyclical downturn”, it said.
TalkTalk climbed 3.7 per cent to 204.2p after Redburn analysts revived the idea that the internet provider could be a candidate for a reverse takeover.
Merging with an unlisted peer could extract higher margins from TalkTalk’s shrinking userbase, providing “an elegant solution to a large number of problems”, said Redburn.
The note follows long-running speculation that a mobile operator such as Telefónica or Hutchison might consider reversing their mobile networks into TalkTalk to gain its subscriber base and UK listing.
Better than expected interim results and a pledge to restart dividends in 2017 helped lift online gambling group GVC to a record high, up 6.6 per cent to 769p.
Asos, the fashion retail website, climbed 3.4 per cent to £47.77 after Macquarie started coverage with “buy” advice and a £57 target.
A “virtuous circle of growth and value creation” means Asos can add sales at 24 per cent a year, increasing its global online market share to 1.2 per cent from 0.9 per cent at present, Macquarie forecast.
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