Royal Mail downgrade forces shares below the government’s 2013 IPO price

Christmas Post Leaves Glasgow On The Royal Mail Train
Royal Mail issued a profit warning last week (Source: Getty)

Shares in Royal Mail have dropped below their controversial IPO valuation for the first time after the company was downgraded by two banks this morning.

The FTSE 100 company, which floated at 330p a share in 2013, briefly dropped as low as 322p in morning trading.

A profit warning issued last Monday sent the company’s stock crashing from 477p per share.

It reduced expected profits to between £500m and £550m, down from £694m last year.

This morning HSBC cut the target price on Royal Mail shares to 379p from 552p, while RBC reduced it to 315p and Bernstein to 350p.

Royal Mail’s 2013 IPO faced heavy criticism after shares rocketed in the days following its listing.

In the first day of trading shares closed at 455p, up 30 per cent from the initial price.

A review later found the government could have made £180m more from its 60 per cent stake in the company.

However, former City minister Lord Myners’s report said maximising the sale price would have involved “considerable risk”.

Shares in Royal Mail peaked at 631p in May this year, and have since dropped nearly half their value.