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MARKET REPORT: Home Reit delays results after short-seller attack

Short circuit: Real estate group Home Reit, which specializes in accommodation for the homeless, fell 6.4%, following a delay in the publication of its annual results amid a dispute with a short seller

Property group Home REIT, which floated at 100p in 2020, fell 7%, or 4.2p, to 55.5p following a delay in reporting its annual results amid a row with a short seller .

The FTSE 250 company, which specializes in homeless accommodation, was due to inform the market of its trading for the year until August.

But on Friday it said its results, which were audited by BDO, needed further verification after allegations by US short seller Viceroy Research.

Short circuit: Real estate group Home Reit, which specializes in accommodation for the homeless, fell 6.4%, following a delay in the publication of its annual results amid a dispute with a short seller

Short circuit: Real estate group Home Reit, which specializes in accommodation for the homeless, fell 6.4%, following a delay in the publication of its annual results amid a dispute with a short seller

He will issue a ‘full response’ after calling the report ‘inaccurate and misleading’.

Marlene Wood, Chair of the Audit Committee, said: “It is important that the company continues to meet the highest standards of financial reporting and we welcome the additional verification process currently being undertaken by BDO.”

Viceroy questioned Home REIT’s business model and its ability to collect rent. Just over 3% of the shares are on loan to short sellers, with the last position being taken by Fraser Perring.

The 49-year-old British investor, who runs Viceroy, said he was “working to expose corporate wrongdoing and wrongdoing globally”.

Perring’s company accused Wirecard of fraud years before the German payment processor collapsed and shorted electric car maker Tesla and crypto exchange FTX earlier this year.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, or 12.65 points, to 7474.02 and the FTSE 250 fell 1.3%, or 253.35 points, to 19292.35.

The khaki fell 3.7%, or 49p, to 1,279.5p after UBS downgraded the builder’s rating to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’.

Calling the decision to set aside an additional £275m to cover the fire safety provision a “disappointment”, the broker also slashed the target price by 60p.

Stock Watch – C4X Discovery

C4X Discovery exploded after landing a major contract with AstraZeneca. The drug discovery company has struck a deal worth up to £332.5 million with pharmaceutical giant FTSE 100.

Astra will develop and commercialize oral therapy to treat inflammatory and respiratory diseases.

The work will focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is primarily caused by smoking and is a leading cause of death.

C4X jumped 14.6%, or 3p, to 23.5p while Astra rose 0.9%, or 96p, to 11,050p.

Figures from real estate website Zoopla found that one in four sellers lower their asking price and are likely to sell homes at a 3% discount.

Berkeley fell 1.8%, or 70p, to 3,774p while Barratt fell 1.9%, or 7.6p, to 399.9p.

There was good news for insurer Just Group after Jefferies launched its cover with a ‘buy’ rating and set a target price of 115p.

It rose 2.3%, or 1.65p, to 74.45p. But Dr Martens has gone out of fashion with Barclays slashing the UK shoemaker’s target price to 270p from 375p. It fell 7%, or 14p, to 193.1p.

Future had a tough start to the week following a downgrade from Stifel. The magazine publisher behind Country Life and Marie Claire saw its target price drop from 3200p to 2400p, and down 5.9%, or 91p, to 1455p.

At Cerillion, the billing and customer management software company reported record revenue and profit for a second year.

Revenue jumped 26% to £32.7million in the year to September, while profits jumped 47% to £10.9million. But the shares fell 0.9%, or 10p, to 1160p.

Meanwhile, Induction Healthcare is taking advantage of the global trend to digitize hospitals.

The group, which makes apps used by NHS hospitals for video consultations, managing appointments and giving patients access to their records, saw its revenue rise to £12m for the year ending in March.

That was up from £1.5million a year earlier. But losses widened to £9.6m from £8.1m due to the cost of investing in new products. It plunged 13.7%, or 5p, to 31.5p.

Marston’s hailed the boost in World Cup matches as the pubs giant pushed back the publication of its full financial results until next week due to an audit delay.

It runs 1,468 pubs and has seen “encouraging” trading since the start of last month. He said sales were around 30 per cent higher for the two games against England so far. The shares climbed 0.9%, or 0.38p, to 40.6p.

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