Shares in Myer continue to climb in afternoon trade, following another attack from billionaire Solomon Lew.
A short time ago, Myer stock was almost 8% higher:
Moves in Myer’s share price today followed a request by Lew’s Premier Investments for a copy of Myer’s share register.
In an announcement lodged with the ASX, Premier Investments said it is also now considering writing to Myer shareholders ahead of Myer’s AGM in November.
Here’s a copy of the statement:
That follows Lew’s strong criticism of Myer on Monday at the presentation of Premier Investments’ full-year results, when he said that Myer had misled investors prior to its July profit downgrade.
Lew said that when Premier Investments purchased a 10.8% stake in Myer in March this year, the company hadn’t flagged any of its pending asset write-downs or profit downgrades to the market, even though its directors would have known what was going on.
Myer’s stock has been steadily falling this year and the company has been the target of short-sellers.
According to Matt Felsman from APP Securities, today’s moves were likely driven by a squeeze in those short positions.
“What we are seeing today in Myer is most likely a short covering rally on speculation of Lew’s intentions,” Felsman said.
“When the largest Myer shareholder is a competing business, and publically jawbone’s Myer’s share price down, one has to wonder if there is more at play on the corporate front.”
Last week, shares in Myer fell to a record-low of 68 cents, taking the loss from its high of $3.75 struck in September 2010 to 82%.
Even with today’s bounce, it only takes shares in the retailer back to levels seen in July.
Myer presented its annual report for the 2017 financial year two weeks ago, which showed a fall in profit for the seventh year in a row.
The company’s troubles have worsened amid challenging conditions for the retail sector.
According to the ABS, nominal spending at department stores fell by 0.7% in the year to July, the only category to record a drop in sales over that period. Nationally, sales increased by 3.6% over the same period