Anite Plunges Most Since March After Slow Quarter: London Mover

Anite Plc (AIE) fell the most in five months after the software supplier for the wireless and travel industries reported that trading has been restrained, even as its CEO said the pipeline of opportunities has expanded.

The stock declined 6.9 percent, the biggest drop since March 11, to 117 pence in London. It was the biggest fall on the FTSE All-Share-Index (ASX) today and took Anite’s decline to 18 percent this year. Trading volume was more than seven times the three-month daily average.

Trading in the first fiscal quarter ended Aug. 15 was “relatively quiet,” the Slough, England-based company said in a statement today. After a slow start to the year for the handset testing business, that unit’s first-half sales will probably be similar to those of last year. Anite said full-year expectations are unchanged and there will be a greater weighting on second-half performance compared with the previous 12 months.

“This is the nature of the business, it tends to be a little bit lumpy,” Chief Executive Officer Christopher Humphrey said in a phone interview. “The underlying growth drivers for the handset business remain very strong.”

The pipeline of opportunities has “significantly” increased on last year, Humphrey said.

Of analysts who share their research with Bloomberg, 10 recommend buying the stock and one advocates holding. Three analysts reiterated buy ratings and their price predictions today. Analysts’ average target price of 168.70 pence implies that the stock may rise more than 40 percent.

To contact the reporter for this story: Rachel Savage in London at rsavage10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net

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