Quindell share price drops despite leadership shake-up

 
Oliver Smith
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QUINDELL, the Aim-listed insurance firm whose shares have plummeted 60 per cent since a scathing blog post by US short seller Gotham City Research, saw its shares slide again yesterday despite appointing a new chief executive and assuring investors that it would meet full-year revenue and profit expectations.

At its annual shareholder meeting the company – which provides services mainly to the insurance and telecom industries – announced cash collection was in line with expectations with its largest unit, legal services, raking in about £500,000 a day in the quarter.

However, the firm took the unusual step of banning journalists from attending the meeting and then declined to disclose the details of its investor votes, saying merely that “all resolutions…were duly passed”.

Quindell promoted Robert Fielding, who heads its services unit, to be chief executive, as part of the shareholder meeting, while Robert Terry will step down from his role as executive chairman but remain chairman at the firm.

The firm also said adjusted earnings per share would meet full-year market expectations, and that it expected to get £250m per year from signing a number of new contracts and extending existing ones.

Quindell’s shares were trading higher for most of the day but a late sell-off sent the shares down 4.23 per cent to close at 17p.

TOP AGM BANNINGS

Quindell banned journalists from attending its AGM yesterday, but it’s not the first firm to take such action.

JKX Oil & Gas banned representatives from Eclairs Group and Glengary Overseas, JKX’s two largest shareholders, from attending its AGM as they planned to vote against the reappointment of chief executive Paul Davies.

Betfair’s chairman Ed Wray banned journalists from attending the firm’s inaugural AGM in 2011, even going so far as to stop share-holding Guardian journalists from entering.

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