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Boardroom changes at JD Sports

The recent departure of chief executive officer Barry Bown has seen shares weaken slightly.

Considering how long Mr Bown had been at the company, almost 30 years, you could have been excused for thinking the shares were set for a fall. The relative stability is maybe more of a reflection of how hands-on Peter Cowgill, the executive chairman, is than anything else. At present it appears that Mr Cowgill will be taking over the responsibilities of the CEO role, and at present the company has not issued any plans for further recruitment.

Also under the JD Sports umbrella are Blacks, Millets and Scottish outdoor retailers Tiso. One aspect of Peter Cowgill’s guidance has been a steady stream of acquisitions over the last decade. Not only has the group acquired UK based companies but also broadened its reach with the likes of Chausport in France. 2014 has seen a change in thinking for corporates as the belt tightening of years gone by appears to be replaced by a more adventurous acquisition mentality. It will be interesting to see if this encourages JD Sports to once again spend.

Moving averages have proven to be supportive for the share price even with the price broking below the 50-day moving average, and the 100-DMA looks well placed too. The relative strength index is at the lower end of the range although not over sold. I would still envisage the share price heading higher and only a break below the 100-DMA, which coincides with the 1600p level, would see me changing this mindset.

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