Gloom for investors as Countrywide and Foxtons shares hit new lows

Countrywide investors endured another uncomfortable day yesterday as shares sunk to a new low.

However, it was by no means the only housing stock to have a bad share day – housebuilders’ shares also tumbled after Redrow founder Steve Morgan sold a £152.8m stake in the company.

Redrow shares sank 7.8%, while rival housebuilders were also hit.

Morgan’s sale follows Berkeley founder Tony Pidgley’s offloading of a £26.8m stake last week.

Foxtons shares also yesterday hit a new low at 80p.

Countrywide shares yesterday fell by 4p to 129p, giving a market capitalisation of £317m.

The shares were priced at 350p when the company returned to the stock market in 2013.

By contrast, Purplebricks – whose shares fluctuated between 418p and 377p, ending at around 395p – yesterday had a market capitalisation well over three times that of Countrywide at around £1.1bn. But it was the first time for some three months that the shares had ended the day below 400p.

Tom Winnifrith, of ShareProphets, forecast that Purplebricks “is No mates Woodford’s next disaster in waiting” – a reference to fund manager Neil Woodford’s recent poor performance.

Winnifrith said analysts are steadily reducing their expectations of Purplebricks: “There is a very clear trend and I expect it to accelerate. That is partly because the housing market is slowing and that will hit this company harder than traditional estate agents.”

Winnifrith also said that there is “no barrier to entry other than capital and I see a new, even lower cost, player, part of the ‘easy’ stable, is now advertising on the telly”.


Written by: Houseladder