JD Wetherspoon recovered 7p to 250p on Friday despite posting third-quarter like-for-like sales down 2% and operating margin down 1%. However, a rise in overall sales to £202.9m offset the negative elements. The company said it was confident it would achieve full-year forecasts. Charles Stanley said the company’s price/earnings multiple was too high because trading patterns were "more likely to continue weakening in the medium term". Graham Searjeant, in his Business Commentary, in The Times, writes that the company’s attempt to pioneer non-smoking pubs has backfired. He says bar drinkers, whose custom boosts profit margins, have faded away. He says diners might well prefer smoke-free air but higher food sales deliver only slimmer profits. The group said it was far too early to judge as it had only had a couple of weeks’ trading in most of the non-smoking pubs. It said the one in St Albans was doing "fantastic trade". The Financial Times notes that a sudden downturn in pub company shares in the past week took analysts by surprise with Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, Greene King, Enterprise Inns, Mitchells & Butlers and Punch Taverns all taking significant hits. Financial Times (Money & Business) 30/04/05 page 3, page 19 (Markets Week – London) The Times 30/04/05 page 53 (Business Commentary), page 54 (Need to know), page 61 The Daily Telegraph 30/04/05 page 35 (The Market)