An £18m acquisition by materials specialist Low & Bonar, of the carpet tile division of Gaskell, helped the firm mount a defence based on its projected profit of £7.5m. The company’s share price increased by a gravity-defying 17.3% to 61p.
More surprisingly, housebuilder Fairbriar bucked the market even more vigorously, with a 19.6% hike
to 30.5p. Most analysts struggled to explain why this had happened as the bigger battalions fell in action: Redrow was down 5.6% to 235p and Wilson Bowden dropped 10.7% to 671p.
One City source speculated that the firm was subject to the whims of the London Evening Standard’s housing reports, owing to its strong presence in the capital. Sure enough, Fairbriar’s revamp of Nell Gwyn House, a prime piece of property just off Sloane Square, did get a mention in the newspaper on Wednesday – the day most shares in the firm were bought.
The again, only 40,000 shares changed hands that day, illustrating how less than £30,000 can dramatically alter the price of a firm with a small share issue.