Dis-Chem’s explanation for its initially mysterious share price fall — a not inconsiderable 5.6% on Thursday, ahead of its results — is entirely plausible. Traders awaiting confirmation that this retail go-go share would deliver the goods — more than 20% in earnings growth — were clearly on the wrong end of the trade and, knowing so, pushed the stock down when it failed to issue an update. Companies are obliged to issue an update as soon as they know that earnings will move by a margin of 20%, either positively or negatively. However, it’s now customary that South African corporations issue voluntary updates, irrespective, and perhaps Dis-Chem will rethink its failure to do so in future. Chalk that down to naivety, or bad advice, but it’s a mistake it would do well not to repeat. But back to the trading action: not all brokers are convinced that the lack of an update was the cause of Dis-Chem’s wobble. Rather, it was more likely that someone had sight of the results and talked. They...

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