|Bid||201.90 x 0|
|Ask||202.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||196.64 - 204.16|
|52 Week Range||186.80 - 492.50|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.96|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||11.49|
|Earnings Date||May 22, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.25 (11.75%)|
|1y Target Est||321.59|
Royal Mail’s main trade union is to ballot more than 100,000 workers on industrial action, as a labour dispute threatens to erupt into the first nationwide strikes since the postal service was privatised. The Communication Workers Union has set out plans to consult its members over a disagreement that it said relates to issues including employment terms and conditions and job security. A ballot of CWU members is scheduled to open on September 24, with the result due on October 8.
A fragile peace between Royal Mail and its workforce is in danger of unravelling after a trade union accused the company of not honouring the “spirit and intent” of an agreement that ended strike threats last year. The agreement, which was one of the final acts of former chief executive Moya Greene, included pay rises and new pension proposals. “Although they are talking as if they are acting within that agreement I don’t believe there’s any true spirit and intent with them to support that agreement and that’s extremely concerning,” said CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger in a video message to union members.
As the pound fell, the FTSE 250 lost 1.4% to hit its lowest point since March 29, when Britain was originally scheduled to exit the European Union. Dublin's main index, often regarded as a barometer of Brexit jitters, was also down nearly 1.4%. The turmoil was compounded when prominent Brexit supporter and Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, resigned from the government.
Facing the threat of renationalisation from the opposition Labour Party, the former British monopoly promised to invest a further 1.8 billion pounds in its UK postal service in the hope of turning it around. Royal Mail's shares rose as much as 9 percent to 231 pence but that is still well below their flotation price of 330 pence in 2013. Chief Executive Rico Back told Reuters it would seek to earn 40% of revenue from its operations outside Britain and 70% from parcel deliveries by the end of the five-year period.
Britain's opposition Labour Party wants to nationalise energy and water infrastructure if it can oust Prime Minister Theresa May's ruling Conservatives from power, reversing decades of pro-privatisation public policy. Despite a national election not being due until 2022, the prospect of nationalisation is worrying investors. Analysts have valued the regulated asset values of water and energy networks potentially facing nationalisation at around 125 billion pounds.
British water and power firms are trying to soothe nerves over nationalisation in the event of a Labour government, although some fund managers and lawyers doubt so-called Corbyn-proofing will work. Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader, has said the state would take control of Britain's water, electricity, gas and railway operators, as well as Royal Mail and Royal Bank of Scotland if Labour wins power. The privatisation of utilities, which began in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives, has been a divisive issue.
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The FTSE 100 ended 0.5 percent higher after rallying as much as 1 percent with gains capped due to investors shunning defensive stocks, and the midcaps added 0.6 percent. UK markets joined a global rally sparked by data showing Chinese factory activity grew for the first time in four months in March, as well as hopes of a resolution to a prolonged trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. Also driving sentiment was a survey that showed UK manufacturing growth at an unexpected 13-month high last month as the country stockpiles for Brexit.
Williams, former chief executive officer and chairman of British Airways, takes over as the 500-year-old post and parcels company struggles with weaker results, a shareholder revolt over pay packages and a slew of management changes.
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The FTSE 100 index added 1.3 percent and the FTSE 250 rose 0.9 percent on their best day in ten days. Prime Minister Theresa May called on Britain's lawmakers to send a message to the European Union that they would support her plans to renegotiate the Brexit divorce deal. Retail stocks, led by a 5.7 percent jump in British American Tobacco after a rating upgrade, climbed to levels not seen since late November and were the biggest support to the main index.
Hit by reduced letter volumes as more people switch to email, Royal Mail has been reviewing its operations and testing methods including automation, to deliver post and parcels as its attempts to cut costs have been slower than expected. This was well below the 330 pence price at which they were floated more than five years ago.