Mark Crouch, analyst at investment platform eToro, says “Despite being behind some of the most desirable sports cars ever made, if truth be told Aston Martin Lagonda has proven to be a lousy investment for their shareholders. Continued losses and a heavy debt burden have plagued the business since the IPO in 2018. In which time the share price has fallen over 90%.

“The luxury sports car manufacturer today posted another pretax loss of £171.8m, albeit that was significantly less than analysts forecasts.

“Rewind twelve months, things were looking up for Aston Martin. A buzz surrounded the anticipated launch of new models including the DB12, and there were positive noises from the company that they may at last become cash flow positive. And while demand is high, production delays forced the company to cut delivery forecasts and share price gains for the year swiftly unravelled.

“Investors might be running low on patience with the Luxury car maker and will want to see much more from the business if they are not to cut their losses, and given Aston Martins poor track record, who can blame them.”


Croda, Abrdn slide after trading updates


Mark Crouch, analyst at investment platform eToro, says: “Croda is today’s biggest loser in the FTSE 100, shedding close to 6% by early afternoon. The specialty chemicals firm announced a pro forma drop of 11% in sales as part of its full year results and warned of a weak outlook for demand in its Industrial Specialties division.

“FTSE-250 component Abrdn whipsawed in a volatile session sparked by its fourth-quarter earnings and details of how it is progressing with its “transformation programme” – a series of deep cost cuts first announced last month, by which the company hopes to improve its fortunes. The asset management firm initially climbed over 6%, after announcing they had exceeded their cost reduction target. Net outflows grew substantially from 2022, though, and the company warned of further headwinds from changing client demand; its share price eventually gave up all its gains, sliding 3% into the red by the afternoon in London.”

Reckitt disappoints with Q4 earnings


Mark Crouch, analyst at investment platform eToro, says “Shareholders of Reckitt Benckiser will be disappointed with this morning’s Q4 earnings update, as the consumer goods retailer missed net sales expectations for the period, citing weakness in cold and flu season products, managing only minimal net revenue growth of 3.5%.

“The cost-of-living crisis has forced consumers to make cutbacks, and Reckitt, like their peers, have seen customers trading down to store brand alternatives. So while demand has softened, Reckitt remains determined to keep popular brand names such as Strepsils, Nurofen, Durex and Dettol on solid footing, reiterating this morning that strengthening product superiority is a top priority.

“The question shareholders might be asking is where does the next spurt of growth come from? Reckitt shares have been trading in a sideways range for almost a decade, so investors will be eager to see what the company has planned to break that trend to the upside.”


High hopes, falling stocks, Virgin Galactic’s full year 2023 results announced



Josh Gilbert, analyst at investment platform eToro, says: “It’s been a torrid three years for Virgin Galactic shareholders with shares falling from a peak of $55.90 and now trading as low as $1.90.

“The disappointment for investors continued in today’s report. Although revenue doubled from a year ago, it still missed estimates. The company reported a net loss of $104 million and a negative free cash flow of $113 million.

“Space travel is arguably one of the most cash-intensive businesses on the market, and the ongoing cash to continue its operations just isn’t there right now. As funding from billionaire owner Richard Branson dries up, the company is scaling back its flight activity to preserve capital.

“The space market is booming, with over 2,500 objects launched last year, doubling 2020’s number. Virgin Galactic is laying some groundwork for long-term growth with the build-out of its spaceship factory. However, with few flights planned in the short term, there are few catalysts to drive shares higher in the near future. Space tourism is struggling to take off.”

Thanks Jack, we also had the idea to distribute Josh’s comments to the media while it’s not UK listed but it could get a hit due to the profile of the Virgin name?


Taylor Wimpey, Reckitt Benckiser report discouraging results

Adam Vettese, analyst at investment platform eToro, says: “The FTSE has slumped -0.7% today, with another raft of shaky results from various index components.

“Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey was among the big decliners in the index, sliding close to 5% after reporting a 49% fall in operating profit for 2023 and a 20.5% drop in revenue, though it did promise a small increase in its ordinary dividend.

“Reckitt Benckiser was an even larger loser, after missing expectations for fourth-quarter revenue and flagging an issue with understated trade spend in the Middle East. After an initial plunge of around 10%, losses deepened to more than 13% by early afternoon.

“The softness in UK earnings of late is in sharp contrast to what we’ve been seeing Stateside, with eBay last night being the latest big name to report above-forecast earnings, while Zoom and home improvement chain Lowe’s also beat forecasts for earnings and revenue this week.”


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