Following on from the recent post about Rank’s share price slide, there’s more bad news on the shares front. Given the current state of their shares and uncertainty over profit levels for the rest of 2007, the HSBC has downgraded the stock from overweight to neutral. It’s not good news for the chain, but they can hang onto the success they’re having with their online offering.
In Scotland the industry has seen signs of a rally in the market after a year of the ban – so hopefully Mecca can weather the current downturn and come out on top. I have confidence they will, they are already trying a lot of new stuff, with their all electronic halls and handheld developments. I don’t do shares, but if I did I would be thinking of buying whilst they’re cheap as a long term investment – they just need to grasp for that new audience I’ve been bashing on about all this time. Easy for me to say, but I hope they can pull it off.
They’re not on their own in this current predicament. The UK’s third chain – Top Ten are also suffering a bit of a beating at the moment. They are warning that their profits will be below forecasts. Top Ten have taken the edge off their downturn in sales by selling a number of properties.
It’s a shame Top Ten haven’t put a bit more effort into their online operation – it could be another channel for them to bring finance into the business, but at present, their online offering is severely lacking being little more than a Globalcom skin via Cashcade. There’s a lot of potential for them to develop that channel, let’s hope they put some of their sales profits into a bit of online development.