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Over the last three days, rumours surrounding Ladbrokes’ losses in 2013 have wiped over 6% off the share price. Speculation has reached such a level that the company has been forced to make a statement confirming it is still on course to meet year-end targets.
The most obvious sporting event that will have cost Ladbrokes was this summer’s Wimbledon win for Andy Murray. A British favourite finally triumphing at one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events was always likely to be heavily backed. That said, of course, it has taken over seventy years for this to happen.
The largest part of Ladbrokes’ sporting business relates to football and horse-racing. As far as the English Premiership is concerned, this is arguably the most competitive season we have seen for many years. There has been no clear favourite, and all of the big four have stumbled at least twice in the first eleven games of the season. This uncertainty should be good news for Ladbrokes, as no clear patterns are emerging and more teams appear capable of beating the historical league favourites than in previous years.
Nevertheless, institutional brokers remain pessimistic, with only two ‘buy’ recommendations for Ladbrokes from the 22 analysts we reviewed.