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New JD Sports Chair: Can Higginson re-energise the share price?

By David Burrows


JD Sports store in London. Photo:Shutterstock
JD Sports is hoping to see a stock price rebound under new chief

The newly appointed chair at JD Sports (JD.) Andy Higginson is faced with consumer spending pressures as well as calls for better corporate governance.

It has not been a quiet year at JD. Back in August, the Competition & Markets Authority fined the company for breaching obligations relating to an investigation into the takeover of smaller rival Footasylum.

And last month the company was accused of price fixing in relation to replica football shirts of Rangers FC.

But JD Sports has now made the first step towards rebuilding its senior leadership team following the departure of executive chairman Peter Cowgill.

Consumer-facing business expert Andy Higginson brings experience from years of service at supermarkets Tesco and Morrisons as well as Unilever, Guinness and Laura Ashley. The company is still yet to appoint a new CEO.

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JD Sports share price chart

Better governance

As Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell explains, Higginson's role is to lead the board of directors and set high governance standards.

“This was something which was perhaps a weak point under the reign of Cowgill, given questions about why he had the joint chair and CEO role, as well as the circumstances of his exit - Cowgill left suddenly after a review of JD’s internal governance and controls”.

During his leadership the company came under fire for the design of bonuses, the way store leases were restructured at its camping gear chain Go Outdoors, and various dealings linked to JD’s failed attempt at buying trainers group Footasylum.


477.93 Price
-0.860% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.23


147.02 Price
-0.540% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.27


249.42 Price
+5.620% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.18


0.72 Price
-0.490% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0253%
Short position overnight fee 0.0033%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0125


Mould adds that given how JD’s share price has slumped in recent months amid market worries about consumer spending and the surprise departure of Cowgill, Higginson will be under pressure from day one to try and improve the company’s reputation from a boardroom perspective, and to find the right person to lead the business.

He concludes: “Despite all the drama, JD has been a resounding success and its core business model certainly doesn’t need a rethink.”

This upbeat assessment from Mould is supported by analysts Peel Hunt who recently put out a broker’s note identifying the stock’s valuation as ‘cheap’. The ‘buy’ recommendation from Peel Hunt sets a target price of 250p for JD. The stock is currently some way below this at around 125p.

Peel Hunt’s broker note followed JD’s delayed full-year results reported at the end of June (for the year to end of January 2022). The company revealed that pre-tax profits increased by 102% from £324m to £654.7m.

Simply Wall St is similarly positive on JD, it sees the stock as good value based on its Price-To-Earnings Ratio (17.4x) compared to the estimated Fair Price-To-Earnings Ratio (24.5x).

Markets in this article

JD Inc (Extended Hours)
28.25 USD
-0.23 -0.810%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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