The two-day stock market shake-out sorted the men among engineering companies from the boys, with strong players like Powerscreen, BBA, Alvis, and Mayflower sailing on to new highs while many a bigger name drifted lower.
Intriguingly, the hectic market scene produced another vote of confidence in recently-recruited Senior Engineering boss Andrew Parrish. The shares of the long-troubled company hit a new 1997 high as the index tumbled 155 points.
By Tuesday, the FT-SE recovery was restoring the poise of Vickers, BAe, and Rolls-Royce, the defence trio bruised not only by the market blip but also by the National Audit Office report of contractors’ cost overruns.
Cobham, the flight refuelling specialist, flew above the £8 barrier in expectation of strong interims in October. The shares have risen 150p since Cobham reported a 47% profits increase to £43.7m for 1996. Watchers look for £51m plus for 1997.
Newcomer shipbuilder Cammell Laird put on more steam, trading up to 138.5p compared with a launch price last month of 100p. The price has been bid up by investors who missed out in the placing.
A major casualty was engineer and distributor Graystone. Its shares halved at one time on another profit warning and news that a prospective bidder had walked away, though talks continue for the sale of the engineering business only.