Since the beginning of 2019, the FTSE 100 has risen by more than 10%. It’s a promising sign after a tough year in 2018 when the index fell by 8.7% and a number of companies suffered major losses. Below, we’ll find out the biggest gainers and losers of the UK’s stock market so far.
FTSE risers and fallers
The FTSE 100 index has had a very positive start to the year, with only a handful of companies (13 to be exact) losing value. Let’s take a closer look at the 10 FTSE 100 top gainers and FTSE biggest fallers in Q1 2019.
Best performing stocks: FTSE 100 risers
For the first 3 months of 2019, the list of FTSE top gainers includes the following companies:
An English online supermarket and the best performing company in 2018
Steel making and mining company
IT and software services provider
Multinational private equity and venture capital company
The world's most international tobacco manufacturer
Manufacturer of steam management systems
Residential property development company
A Chilean copper mining group
A marketplace to buy and sell new and used cars
Technology company that creates products for hazard detection and life protection
1. Ocado Group
Famous English online supermarket Ocado put on a stellar performance in 2018. The company’s success was driven by the agreement to license technology to the US supermarket giant Kroger and a number of contracts with major European retailers.
The boosted share price throughout the year has continued into the first three months of 2019. The recent positive Ocado share price rally is promoted by a new joint venture with Marks & Spencer, stipulated in late February.
Second in the list of FTSE 100 risers and fallers is Roman Abramovich’s part-owned steel-making and mining company, EVRAZ. With positive returns of 41.3% in 2018, the company delivered a net profit of $2.5 billion (compared to $759 million in 2017).
Investors also believe that EVRAZ’s exposure to sanctions imposed on Russia, where the company operates, has been significantly reduced. Roman Abramovich and his partners sold shares worth £151 million, which reduced their combined stake to less than 50%.
3. Micro Focus
In spite of some difficulties in 2018, caused by the company’s integration with Hewlett Packard’s enterprise business, Micro Focus has started to regain its credibility among investors.
Though this acquisition, which quadrupled the size of the company’s business, was tougher than expected, the company managed to overcome all troubles. Further, the tech group announced that it had completed its $400 million share buyback programme, which is now extended by up to $110 million.
4. 3i Group
3i Group – a multinational private equity and venture capital company – has proven to be resilient during a period of significant market volatility. At the end of 2018, the company’s net asset value increased to £8.02 from £7.76 three months earlier and the total return comprised almost 14 %.
The company’s Chief Executive, Simon Borrows, said: “As we approach the close to our financial year we remain confident that our diversified portfolio is well positioned to deliver further good growth and withstand market turbulence in these uncertain political and economic times.”
Out of all FTSE 100 constituents, (BAT) suffered the biggest yearly decline in 2018. BAT shares fell 50.2% as a result of a major clampdown on cigarettes by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Today, the tobacco industry experiences another revival. With the development of vaping and cannabis legalisation, British American Tobacco and its peers have obtained new growth opportunities.
Worst performing stocks: FTSE 100 fallers
For the first 3 months of 2019, the list of FTSE biggest fallers includes the following companies:
International tourism business: package holidays, flights and cruises
British multinational energy and services company
Provider of educational products and services for all stages of learning
The third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom
The world's leading silver producer and Mexico's largest gold producer
A healthcare chain and distribution business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
One of the world's largest airline groups, holding Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling
A British multinational consumer goods company
A British multinational telecommunications conglomerate
A British free-to-air television network
Since reaching its all-time high in May 2018, TUI shares have fallen 56%. The company expects a slowdown in sales in summer 2019. According to TUI’s predictions, their earnings would fall by more than a quarter if its Boeing 737 Max aircraft (15 out of 150 planes in the company’s fleet) were not flying by July. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft were suspended globally after two crashes.
Year-to-date, Centrica’s share price has dropped 19% and the company’s outlook remains very uncertain. Smaller competitors are undercutting Centrica’s offering, stealing its customers. In 2018, the company lost almost 700,000 customer energy supply accounts. Another problem is caused by the reduced earnings from the British government’s energy price cap and lower production.
The educational content supplier Pearson ended 2018 with a positive share price change of 27.5%. However, investors are not so sure about the company’s future, which resulted in a 15% dropdown by the end of the Q1 2019. After struggling to find a buyer over the last year, Pearson announced in February that it is going to sell its US schools course business for $250 million. The company hopes to return to growth from 2020 and beyond.
Recently, Sainsbury’s has fallen into 3rd place in the UK supermarkets league, behind Asda. In March 2019, the company’s sales fell 1.8%, taking its market share to 15.3 %, which is lower than in 2018. The two supermarket groups are still struggling to persuade the UK’s regulator to allow their £7bn merger. Last month Asda and Sainsbury’s proposed to sell off up to 150 stores and 38 petrol stations to push the deal, but it remains highly uncertain.
Last year, the shares of precious metals mining group Fresnillo dropped 39.8% as a result of the decline in silver prices. This year, the Mexican silver and gold miner anticipates challenging times ahead with higher inflation and further lowering of metal prices. According to the company’s Q1 report, the production of silver dropped 15% and the production of gold fell 9%.
In the end
Risers vs. fallers, best-performing stocks vs. worst-performing stocks – there won’t be winners without losers. All the individual shares mentioned above and the FTSE 100 index itself provide unique trading opportunities every day. Follow the news and the companies’ performance to catch up with the latest UK stock market trends at Capital.com.