FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - The shares of Internet service provider Ionos, which recently rose to a record high, were hit by profit-taking on Monday. A no longer optimistic assessment of the share by the US bank Morgan Stanley was seen as the reason why the share price fell by four percent to 25.40 euros at the beginning of the week. Before the weekend, the share price had reached a record high of up to 27.20 euros.

After the strong rise this year, the ratio of opportunities and risks is now more balanced, argued analyst George Webb in a study published on Monday, lowering his vote from "overweight" to "equal-weight". Judging by the share price increases, investors have now adjusted to the company's success story and its cloud potential.

With an annual increase of more than 50 percent at its peak, Ionos shares were among the four best performers in the small-cap index SDax in 2024. Since the IPO, which took place in February 2023 as a spin-off from the parent company United Internet, the shares have risen by almost half. Since the record low of EUR 11.92 at the end of October, they have more than doubled.

In addition to the more challenging valuation, the Morgan Stanley expert also cites business aspects that make him more cautious. He fears that a weaker development in the aftermarket business of the Web Presence & Productivity division in the first quarter will slow down the otherwise strong core business. This could pose a threat to this year's growth target.

The downgrading of Ionos shares had no noticeable impact on the shares of parent company United Internet on Monday. They rose by 1.3 percent, while the shares of mobile subsidiary 1&1 hovered around their Friday level./tih/ajx/jha/