Halfords Surges After Boss Quits With 645,000 Pound Pay-Off

LONDON -- Halfords (ISE: HFD.L) surged yesterday after announcing the departure of chief executive David Wild. The statement coincided with a trading update, which revealed first-quarter sales down 5% following "unseasonal weather conditions."

Halfords confirmed Wild had agreed to leave the board immediately and that a search for his successor was under way. Wild said: "Now that we have developed the overall strategy that will guide the future of the business over the coming years, I feel it is the appropriate time to step down and seek fresh challenges elsewhere."

Wild's service agreement includes a 12-month notice period that will see him collect 645,399 pounds in pay and benefits before July next year.

Wild was appointed chief executive on Aug. 4, 2008, when the Halfords share price was 282 pence and the company's annual pre-tax profits topped 90 million pounds. According to Bloomberg, Halfords shares have since provided a -11% total return while the FTSE All-Share index has delivered +27%.

Due to an "uncertain trading environment," Halfords said today that current-year profits would be 62 million pounds to 70 million pounds -- 25% down on 2012.

Nonetheless, Halfords did say it would declare a maintained 8 pence per share dividend within its forthcoming half-year results. Should the full-year payout be sustained as well, the 216 pence shares would yield more than 10%.

However, a retailer with sliding profits and a vacuum in the boardroom might not be the most dependable dividend investment within this choppy market right now.

Indeed, if you are seeking somewhat more reliable income opportunities, The Motley Fool has produced a special free report that could assist your investment decisions.

"8 Dividend Plays Held By Britain's Super Investor" reveals the favorite dividend names held by Neil Woodford -- the City fund manager who has thrashed the FTSE during the five, 10, and 15 years to 2011. Unlike Halfords, many of Woodford's current selections have been hitting fresh 52-week highs of late.

The Fool's exclusive Neil Woodford dividend report can be downloaded immediately. But hurry, the report is free for a limited time only.

Investing is by no means easy in today's uncertain economy. That's why we've published "Top Sectors for 2012" -- our guide to three favorable industries. This free report will be dispatched immediately to your inbox.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

The article Halfords Surges After Boss Quits With 645,000 Pound Pay-Off originally appeared on Fool.com.

Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Halfords. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.