Countrywide’s share price dipped briefly to an all-time low of 8.6p during early trading today after a brief rally on Friday, a drop blamed by City watchers on institutions offloading its shares.
The low point marks the end of a roller-coaster ride for the company; its share price has fallen by 11% over the past month and by nearly 90% since December 2017.
One specialist US stockmarket City trading watcher says the huge decline in Countrywide’s fortunes indicate its shares being ‘over-sold’ over the past two weeks.
But crunch-time for Countrywide is due to come in the New Year when it publishes the company’s preliminary announcement for its 2018 trading, due after the New Year.
This will hopefully reflect the company’s ‘back to basics’ approach since Alison Platt left in January and Peter Long took over as executive chairman, promoting Paul Creffield to Group Operations Director.
Back to basics?
Robert May (left) of recently-launched challenger portal Rummage4 and a seasoned Countrywide watcher, says back to basics at Countrywide means the company thinking once again “like a local agency” rather than a national behemoth.
“The key to the future of agency is thinking like an independent agent; [their] commission-only ‘sell’ approach meaning that if an independent agent doesn’t sell, there is no-one to pay their wages so they don’t eat,” he says.
“Connells think like independents and, no-one realises, both Thomas Morris and LSLi both already have this ‘future thinking’ in place.
“And I believe Himanshu Raja [its CFO] has taken Countrywide ‘back to the basics’ of thinking local too.”