Mar 20, 2018

Opening Quote: Ocado - we need to know it’s exhilarating

In the 13 weeks to March 4, Ocado said retail revenue was 11.7 per cent higher than in the same period last year - and would have been higher still were the snow drifts not so high. Average order size declined 0.4 per cent as price inflation was offset by reduced items per basket. Ocado's shares fell back 4 per cent last Wednesday on news that Wal-Mart planned to expand its own home delivery service - suggesting a potential tie-up with Ocado was off the cards. Average selling prices in the period rose 8 per cent to £275,945, and a strong trading performance resulted in the operating margin rising 20 basis points to 22.2 per cent. In February, a short seller called ShadowFall sent a note to clients claiming IQE relied on joint ventures that looked "Somewhat circular": the ventures bought equipment and staff from IQE, seemed to have no other customers bar IQE and made losses not booked by IQE. IQE said it met all accounting standards but its shares fell 11 per cent - making a potential profit for ShadowFall, which IQE noted had short-sold its shares.

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