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Merrill Lynch tells Sports Direct investors to sell

Investment bank Merrill Lynch has urged Sports Direct investors to sell their shares in the troubled business.

Merrill Lynch, which handled the float of Sports Direct on the stock market 10 months ago, published an analyst note yesterday slashing Sport Direct's profit forecasts by 30% from £185 million to £130m and saying the market had become "distrustful" of the business.

Sports Direct shares have fallen by 6p to 95p per share today, with Merrill cutting its price target to 80p compared to the 300p float price.

Merrill Lynch analyst Mal Patel criticised the company for a lack of transparency about current trading but estimated that like-for-like sales would be down by a "deeply negative" 15%.

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