As shares plummet, how much longer will investors accept the finger pointing?
Blaming the weather appears to be a long and noble tradition, supported by leaders in every industry, across the globe. Take 2016, for instance; this year, the weather has already been cited by an incredible array of business leaders for a range of spectacular losses.
Sports Direct, the United Kingdom’s largest sporting retailer, operating roughly 670 stores worldwide, was the first out of the gates. It issued a profit warning on January 8 announcing that it expected to miss its target for underlying profits due to unexpectedly warm weather over the Christmas period. That warning sent shares falling 14%. It was a real surprise after the company had just one month earlier confirmed it would hit its targets for this financial year during the reporting of its half-term results.
FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, quickly followed suit, issuing its own profit warning that the floods that hit Britain over the winter had resulted in revenues falling by 9.5 percent in the third quarter and that operating profits for the year would be “slightly lowered”. Similarly, Zurich Insurance released a profit warning of an estimated 100 million further quarter business operating loss for its general insurance business as a result of the high number of claims following the British floods. Shares plummeted 9% following the release.