Tuesday 19 February 2019 11:50 am

More than £900m wiped off value of Plus500 as shares continue to plummet following error in accounts

More than £900m has now been wiped off the value of Plus500 in just seven days as shares in the online trading platform continued to fall this morning.

Investors continued to lose confidence in the company following a reporting error in its accounts, with shares sliding a further eight per cent this morning.

Read more: Plus500 shares continue to spiral after $103m error in annual report

On Friday the company said that a statement in its 2017 annual accounts saying that it suffered no losses from client trading was a “drafting error” and that it actually made losses of $103m (£80m).

Its share price has now fallen 55 per cent since its results last Tuesday, trading at 739p compared to a high of 1636p before its accounts were published.

But City hedge fund giant Crispin Odey has increased his stake in the company, hoping to cash in on the bargain share price.

Odey Asset Management increased its holding from 13.3 per cent to 16.2 per cent in the space of just two days last week, company filings revealed today.

The City veteran’s investment vehicle had trimmed its stake in PLus500 from 11.95 per cent at the beginning of the year to 9.7 per cent ahead of its result last week but has since upped its holding significantly.

While Odey will hope the shares recover ground to be sold on at a better price, a band of hedge fund vultures, who built short positions on the firm at the beginning of the year, will be hoping the stock continues to plummet.

Despite almost doubling profits in 2018, a major profit warning based on stricter regulations hitting this year’s revenue kicked off the initial slide.

Plus500, unlike its competitors, had not previously downgraded its earnings forecasts due to the tighter rules.

At the end of last week it emerged that the company may have misled investors with the statement that "in 2017, as in 2016 and 2015, the company did not generate net revenues or losses from market P&L."

Read more: Plus500 shares plunge 30 per cent on profit warning

Plus500 said that this was due to a "drafting error" and that the phrase "or losses" was incorrectly placed in the report and revealed that the losses occurred as a result of "strong client trading performance".

In a broker’s note yesterday, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed its “sell” rating on the company and warned of a “cocktail” of falling earnings, regulatory reviews and now questions about its integrity.

 

 

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