AJ Bell argues that the departure of ITV’s (LON:ITV) finance director is nothing for investors to worry about as he leaves the business in a stronger position, Citywire reports. The comments mark a boost for the blue-chip broadcaster whose shares came under pressure yesterday after the company announced that Ian Griffiths, who is both the group’s finance director and chief operating officer, had advised the board of his intention to retire from the broadcaster in the next 12 months.
ITV’s share price has been subdued in London this morning, having given up 0.31 percent to 174.15p as of 09:41 BST. The decline is largely in line with losses in the broader UK market, with the FTSE 100 currently standing 0.23 percent lower at 7,604.54 points. The group’s shares are down by nearly five percent over the past year, as compared with a near three-percent rise in the blue-chip index.
AJ Bell weighs in on Griffiths departure
Citywire quoted AJ Bell’s analyst Russ Mould as commenting that a while finance director’s exit “can reflect concern over the state of a company’s finances,” the departure of ITV’s COO and finance director Ian Griffiths was not one of those situations.
“In fact, the share price fall is a tribute to his role in the turnaround of the company’s financial position from his appointment in 2008,” the analyst explained, adding that “any successor will have big shoes to fill”.
Analyst ratings update
Liberum Capital reaffirmed its ‘buy’ stance on ITV yesterday, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 broadcaster currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 190.29p.
ITV is scheduled to update investors on its interim performance on July 25.