Hat-Trick of Disappointments from Cobham

Thursday, 16 February: Plunging to the bottom of the FTSE 350 today was the defense and aerospace supplier Cobham. The group gave investors a hat-trick of bad news, warning of a weak balance sheet, an earnings hit on a high-profile Boeing military program and, to top it off, several acquisitions have under-performed. Cobham, alongside Boeing has taken a hit over delayed production on a military refueling plane Boeing are building for the US Air Force. The former has this time said it will take a £150m charge against 2016 earnings. However, this isn’t the only set back the troubled group has had: not only has it had a series of profit warnings, its chairman and chief executive officer left last year, and chuck in a rights issue to put the cherry on top of 2016’s cake. Shares fell more than 20% in early trading, paring back to close -15.29%. Full year results are expected in early March…

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) continues to churn out UK data this week. The Family Spending Survey revealed that families are spending less on cigarettes and alcohol, and more on eating out. Spending relatively unchanged, a family’s average spend coming in at £528.90. Transport and housing remains the most expensive expenditure at around 14% of budgets.

Which? magazine have questioned more than 7,000 UK shoppers in a supermarket consumer satisfaction survey. Waitrose won the award for best in-store experience; Iceland was voted best for online; and M&S Simply Food won the convenience store category. Customers were asked to rate stores and online operations based on their experiences in the last 6 months. Discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl scored evenly on value for money.

The FTSE 100 failed to extend gains, retreating back 0.34% at the close, with the biggest fallers, Royal Dutch Shell and AstraZeneca falling back as they traded ex-dividend. The fall was reflected in Europe as both the CAC and DAX closed in the red. In the US, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones are trading lower.