Shares in Enterprise Inns rocketed this morning, despite the pubco announcing pub income had slumped eight per cent in the 16 weeks to January 17, 2009.
The group's stock was up more than 25 per cent at one stage today, priced at 40p, after City analysts "breathed a sigh of relief" that the operator's numbers were not worse than feared.
Even Punch Taverns, which announced its leased pub profits had slumped by 12 per cent recently, saw a similar rise before edging back to a more modest 18 per cent increase on yesterday's close.
One analyst said the rises followed a very aggressive sell-off in both stocks in recent weeks.
"Enterprise's numbers were not as bad as we expected so the share price rises are as much about a sense of relief as anything else," he commented.
The increase should also be seen with some perspective, the analyst added.
"The equity value in these businesses is now so low that their shares could double in value and still be lower than we've seen for some time."
Others in the City said there was a perception that Enterprise's debt position and trading profile was better than Punch's.