Ideal Hardware's share price faced a tumble of eight per cent this week, falling to its lowest since the beginning of trading at the start of the year.
Between opening on 5 February and close of the stock exchange the next day, Ideal's shares fell 22.5p to 465p. Shares opened at the high point of 505p at the beginning of 1997.
However, Robert Morton, broker at Charterhouse Tilney Securities, said he was not aware of any significant factors that could have influenced the fall. He dismissed the notion that a sluggish market for hard disk drives was responsible.
He said: 'Companies in the sector are still trading comfortably. I think Ideal is in good shape at the moment.'
Ideal managing director James Wickes pointed out that the market was more interested in selling than in buying stock. 'There have been a couple of big sellers of shares on the market who may have forced the price down.
But the backlog of shares has now been cleared,' he said.
Wickes insisted the downturn in the hard drive market was not the cause.
However, the hard disk drive business has taken a beating lately and some vendors have been casualties. Micropolis was shut down by its parent Singapore Technologies last year, and Seagate after successive quarterly profit warnings, announced it would shed 10,000 of its workforce worldwide.
Meanwhile, Northamber has released its interim results to 31 December 1997, posting a pre-tax profit of #4.3 million, up 14.5 per cent from #3.7 million last time. Turnover was #149.9 million, up 7.8 per cent from #139 million in 1996. However, shares fell 10.5p to 244.5p.
In the company statement, Northamber chairman David Phillips acknowledged a slow down in the growth rate of sales and an increase in bad debt provision.
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