Business World

Sunday 25 August 2019

Thomas Cook shares 'worthless', say analysts

 

'Thomas Cook shares fell as much as 45pc on Friday, the most in seven years, adding to a 15pc drop after the company reported results the previous day.' Photo: PA
'Thomas Cook shares fell as much as 45pc on Friday, the most in seven years, adding to a 15pc drop after the company reported results the previous day.' Photo: PA

Dean Grey

Thomas Cook Group's shares are effectively worth nothing right now, according to analysts at Citigroup, who cut their price target to zero pence from 28 pence.

The travel company's earnings outlook is worse than expected and the amount of debt held wipes out the £738m (€841m) worth of its tour-operator and airline arms, Citi says. This "implies zero equity value", analysts wrote in a note, cutting the stock to a sell rating.

Thomas Cook shares fell as much as 45pc on Friday, the most in seven years, adding to a 15pc drop after the company reported results the previous day. Thomas Cook has warned that it faces another tough summer, while a lifeline loan from its lenders depends on the sale of the airline unit. The shares are now down around 90pc in the past 12 months.

Ernst and Young, Thomas Cook's auditors, said the planned disposal and new financing arrangement make its future uncertain. Failure to manage the sale effectively could "cast significant doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern", the firm said in Thomas Cook's half-year results statement.

Citi said the battering the company has taken may also "unsettle consumers and drive further weakness in bookings". And it could cause hotel partners to tighten payment terms, putting further strain on finances. A spokesman for Thomas Cook said it had no comment.

Among other analysts, Oddo BHF also cut the stock to reduce from neutral on Friday. The company now has three buy ratings, seven holds and four sells, with an average price target of 28 pence, according to analysts.

Bloomberg

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