The undisputed king of the share dive – one of the most hotly contested events in the industry Olympics – has to be Jarvis, whose manager is Paris Moayedi. After concerns that Railtrack was looking for ways to peg back its margins, the firm blew the opposition away with a series of spectacular plunges.
Its finest single performance had to be on 22 July 1999, when it recorded a 35% plummet that seemed to go on forever and ended with an almighty splash. Spectators roared as £12m was wiped off the bottom line, and many commentators talked about an unsurpassable feat. But Jarvis has since proved that it can plummet further: a year later, shares are still diving.
Amec cannot hope to match Jarvis’ consistency, but it lands the silver for a spectacular one-off. Back in February, the purchase of Canadian project manager Agra pushed its shares down an astonishing 25%. Fans have been disappointed by its showing since then, with shares going in entirely the wrong direction.
Costain edged the bronze, but its volatile performance has kept it going strong in the high jump as well as the diving.