Workspace double-downgraded by Barclays on reopening over-optimism


Workspace Group PLC (LON:WKP) has been double-downgraded by Barclays, who said “too much” reopening optimism was priced into the flexible office group’s shares.

Analysts at the bank noted that after office take-up collapsed in all London sub-markets in 2020, vacancy rates have roughly doubled with City sub-markets now at nearly 11% and availability of space is almost at 20-year record levels.

Barclays moved two marks down to an ‘underweight’ rating on the shares from the previous ‘overweight’, cutting its share price target to 700p from 745p.

Workspace’s last update in January revealed “resilient” customer demand in the latest lockdown, though an average of 672 enquiries per month in the quarter compared to 1,001 a year earlier and 109 lettings per month was down from 113.

On cash collection, the FTSE 250 company said 91% of rent due for the third quarter and 82% of rent due for the fourth quarter had been collected, similar to the preceding quarter.

Back in November Workspace deferred a decision on dividend payment until the full-year after slumping to a GBP110mln loss compared to a GBP99mln profit the year before, with the total portfolio valued at GBP2.4bn, down 5% from March 31, 2020, while its net tangible assets per share (EPRA) were 8% lower at GBP10.05.


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