Shares in J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) have advanced in today’s session, propped up by upbeat industry data, ahead of the grocer’s third-quarter update tomorrow. The retailer is expected to post a drop at its grocery sales, and a rise at Argos which the company acquired last year.
As of 13:54 GMT, Sainsbury’s share price had added 1.59 percent to 258.85p, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.31 percent better off at 7,260.18 points. The grocer’s shares have gained just under seven percent over the past year, as compared with an over 22-percent rise in the Footsie.
Shares in Sainsbury’s have been in demand ahead of the group’s results tomorrow when the company is scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter performance. Reuters reports that analysts on average forecast a 0.8-percent fall in like-for-like sales, even as the company is still expected to report volume growth and underlying sales growth at Argos of 1.5 percent.
Sharecast meanwhile has quoted Jefferies as noting that while the group’s grocery business would “likely prove the loser” with a quarterly fall of 0.8 percent, a 2.2-percent projected rise from Argos will support consensus “and with it likely drive short-term outperformance”.
Earlier today, Kantar Worldpanel reported that Sainsbury’s had seen a marginal sales decline of 0.1 percent in the 12 weeks ended January 1, while having also delivered strong online sales growth.
The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Sainsbury’s for the Financial Times have a median target of 255.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 305.00p and a low estimate of 185.00p. As of January 7, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip supermarket advises investors to hold their position in the company.