Tech darling Darktrace PLC (LSE:DARK) is among the favourites to lose its place when the next quarterly FTSE 100 reshuffle takes place next month.
Given that business is booming with cyberattacks on businesses, governments and individuals at all-time highs, you might ask how can that happen and does it really matter.
FTSE 100 is a mechanical list of the 100 largest companies by market capitalisation listed on the London Stock Exchange with, unlike indices such as Dow Jones, no subjective judgments about who should be included and who should not.
So if a company’s value falls far enough it is out and that is what looks likely to happen to Darktrace, which almost tripled from its April initial public offer price to a high in October and was promoted to the Footsie that same month following the delisting of Morrisons after its takeover, but its shares have came under pressure following some broker downgrades and private equity share stake sales, almost halving from their high.
Ranking of companies takes place every three months, with the next review scheduled for November 30, with any changes announced after close on the following day.
Changes will come into effect for this quarter on Monday December 21.
A stock is usually automatically promoted into the index if its value by market cap rises to position 90 or higher.
Any relegation into the FTSE250 takes place if the market value falls to the 111th position or below.
Darktrace currently is in 127th place, so its goose looks pretty well cooked.
In spite of the upbeat trading comments, including one today, the share price has almost halved from its peak of 985p in September, largely due to sales of stock by major shareholders.
It is also very expensive on most investment yardsticks, including a punchy market value to sales ratio of 15 times.
Metals specialist Johnson Matthey PLC (LSE:JMAT) is expected to join it in being relegated to the FTSE 250 after a poor run of news and some underwhelming results today, which were buoyed by high gold and platinum prices.
The good news for both is that unless you are one of the real giants of the index, being at the top end of the FTSE 250 or bottom end of the FTSE 100 seems to make little practical difference.
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said Royal Mail PLC (LSE:RMG), which had been teetering on the edge of relegation, “seems to be safe”.
He said Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LSE:MKS) looked to have missed out on promotion this time despite its strong recent results.