Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Footsie Picks Up but Baltimore Dives 20%; MARKET REPORT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Footsie Picks Up but Baltimore Dives 20%; MARKET REPORT

Article excerpt


INTERNET security solutions specialist Baltimore Technologies was paying the price for becoming the latest company to issue a bungled profits warning.

The shares tumbled 301/2p, or 20%, to 120p after a gloomy meeting with brokers in Dublin where the group warned about feeling the ill-effects of the slowdown in the US economy. This has resulted in several product launch delays which will impact on first quarter revenues. Brokers said it was tantamount to a profits warning.

The company reckons it has said nothing new. But brokers like Credit Suisse First Boston have begun downgrading their numbers.

The house broker Lehman Brothers has already widened its pretax loss forecast from [pound]204 million to [pound]254 million.

The market consensus ranges from [pound]206 million to [pound]302 million. At its peak last year Baltimore was changing hands at 1375p.

The rest of the market bounced back after several days of heavy losses, but traders are under no illusion. "We are not out of the woods yet," was the message coming out of the market.

The FTSE 100 index rose 109.2 to 5424.0 with investors drawing strength from last night's last-gasp rally by the Dow Jones from its worst levels and a resilient performance by the hi-tech Nasdaq market.

The Nikkei 225 also enjoyed support in Tokyo, closing up 360.57 points at 13,214.54.

But there is no getting away from the fact that investors are still caught in the grip of a fierce bear market. This is likely to remain so until sentiment changes in the US and the economy shows some signs of revival.

Today's rally proved difficult for brokers, leaving them unable to pick up stock in any size.

It was the technology and telecoms sectors that led the market higher, having suffered the worst of the falls this week. …

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