Shares in Tesco (LON:TSCO) have been little changed this morning with three former executives, accused of fraud and false accounting, due to stand trial today. The trial will come about three years following the discovery of a £326-million black hole in the company’s accounts.
As of 08:26 BST, Tesco’s share price had given up 0.19 percent to 183.50p as of 08:26 BST, slightly outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.42 percent lower at 7,279.95 points. The group’s shares have added nearly one percent to their value over the past year, but are down by some 11 percent in the year-to-date.
The Financial Times reports that Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler are due to stand trial today, being prosecuted for their alleged role in an accounting scandal in which Tesco was found to have inflated its profits by £326 million in 2014. The accounting scandal broke three weeks after Dave Lewis took over as chief executive of Britain’s largest supermarket.
The trio each face one charge of false accounting and one charge of fraud. They deny any wrongdoing and have pleaded not guilty.
The trial comes after earlier this year, the Serious Fraud Office imposed a £129-million fine on Tesco over the accounting scandal.
The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Tesco for the FT have a median target of 192.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 260.00p and a low estimate of 145.00p. As of September 22, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company. Tesco is scheduled to update investors on its interim performance on October 4.