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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide share price up 50% in a month - is this the turn-around?

Has Countrywide finally convinced its investors that it is on the road to recovery?

Back on March 8 the Countrywide share price fell to a low of 70.5p; since that time it has added 50 per cent to its value, closing yesterday at 107.20p.

It remains a shadow of its former self, of course - just over four years ago it hit a high of 686.4p, which is over six times its current value - but the performance in recent weeks returns the troubled group to the share price enjoyed before its February profit warning. 

There has been considerable short term volatility amongst property sector shares in recent times but Countrywide’s broadly consistent rise in the past four weeks contrasts sharply with the performances of Purplebricks (down from 385p on March 9 to around 304p at yesterday’s close), and OnTheMarket (154p to 108p over a similar period).

Recent announcements from Countrywide have been strongly positive in contrast to those across much of the Alison Platt era.

In mid-March the leaders of the group’s management team - executive chairman Peter Long, chief financial officer Himanshu Raja, and group operations director Paul Creffield - bought significant numbers of shares to show their commitment to the firm.

Ten days later the publication of the group’s annual report set out both the errors of the past management approach and the new ‘back to basics’ strategy led by Peter Long.

The group has also reported two significant ‘returnees’ - individuals who left during the Platt era reorganisations but who have now come back. They are John Hards, who has been appointed as national lettings director, and Keith Knight rejoined as managing director of sales and lettings in the south east - the role he held when he was at the company before.

  • Simon Shinerock

    I bought a few shares at 90p on the way down, still looking very cheap

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    Hope some of the beleaguered staff who have not had bonuses due to the 'corrupt' MBA style of the recent Senior Management benefit from the bounce back. Good luck to the 'returnees' shouldn't be a difficult task with the size of their market share and their technology to turn it round......

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    The company is doomed. Far too many loss making branches, many of which should have shut down years ago. With the growth of cheap online agents and lower costed independents taking over, I am confident Countrywide shall go bust unless they urgently reduce overheads by closing poor performing branches.

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    There’s a long, long way to go before anyone can say with any confidence that CWD Is back on its feet. As for the shares looking ‘cheap’, isn’t that a comment that should be made based upon the dividend they yield?

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