Shares in Johnson Matthey shed 4 percent, the second biggest FTSE 100 faller, after the British speciality chemicals company posts a virtually flat first quarter on the back of weak precious metals prices, prompting worries it could miss market forecasts for the first half.
Johnson Matthey, the world's largest supplier of catalytic converters, posted a profit for the three months that was up less than 2 percent on the year earlier, as the impact of lower platinum and palladium prices offset the benefit of increased car and truck sales in North America. It said the second quarter would be in similar to the first.
Analysts say this indicates the company's results would come slightly below the market's expectations for the first half. The consensus forecast for full-year underlying pretax profit is around 432 million pounds, with the first-half consensus at around 217 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S forecasts.
"They came in at 99.9 million (pounds) for the quarter and guided it would be the same for the second quarter," says one industry analyst who declined to be named. "That would indicate a miss for the first half, which explains the (extent of) the share drop."
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