UK Stock Market’s Winners and Losers in 2017


Below is a curated list of the biggest winners and losers of the year of 2017 of the FTSE All-Share Index:

The Winners

  1. Games Workshop: up by 266 percent

The creator of Warhammer figures improved profit expectations three times last year. The weak pound has made the company’s products, the tabletop fantasy war games, cheaper for customers overseas, who account for over half the revenue of the company. A positive response for a new edition of the board game Warhammer 40,000, which takes the said game out of its Lord of the Rings-style origins and into a far-future battle, has also benefited the stock.

2. KAZ Minerals: up by 135 percent

Alon Olsha, the Macquarie investment bank analyst, said that the Kazakhstan-focused copper miner had been rewarded for “exceptional project execution.” Two new projects have “seamlessly” ramped up, which is unusual in the mining industry. While the gain of the copper in 2017 has helped, Olsha said that “ultimately it was factors within management control that led to the stock more than doubling over the year.”

3. Sophos Group: up by 115 percent

With returns that are beating cybersecurity peers that are based in Silicon Valley, analysts and investors alike are bullish on the cash flow of Sophos and the high proportion of subscription revenue, which gives greater visibility on future growth. The firm is Morgan Stanley’s European technology pick for this year. Not to mention that George O’Connor, the Stifel analyst, says that there could possibly be “a whole range of companies” who would become interested in acquiring the firm.

4. Wizz Air: up by 99 percent

The largest budget airline in Eastern Europe has been rewarded for its bullishness. In May, the airline said that it would add more capacity in its core Eastern Europe market and in November, it developed plans to establish a UK arm into a significant national operation in its own right. JPMorgan selected it as one of its top European airline picks for 2018 on the potential for further growth resulting from the failures of Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin.

5. NMC Health: up by 88 percent

Over the previous year, the provider of healthcare in the Middle East that is listed in London has been added to both Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index and the FTSE 100 Index. According to the company’s chief executive officer, it has also been active in M&A and partnerships and is searching for more deals. Analysts are overwhelmingly positive, with 11 out of the 12 who cover the stock declaring it a buy.