Marks & Spencer share price: Jefferies sees retailer as a ‘buy’

Analysts argue group is ‘well positioned’

Marks & Spencer share price: Jefferies sees retailer as a ‘buy’

Jefferies remains bullish on Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS), arguing that the company is well positioned, despite the market’s jitters over the retailer, Citywire reports. The comments are a boost for the company, whose chief executive Steve Rowe has been trying to turn around the group’s fortunes.

Marks & Spencer’s share price lost 0.64 percent to close at 309.30p yesterday, largely in line with losses in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index ending the session 0.65 percent lower at 7,445.12 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 11 percent of their value this year, as compared with an over seven-percent advance in the Footsie.

Jefferies remains bullish on M&S

Jefferies reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on M&S yesterday, valuing the shares at 370p.

“Marks and Spencer’s change in strategic direction, without giving many financial details, is causing uncertainty,” the broker’s analyst Caroline Gulliver admitted, as quoted by Citywire, adding that Marks & Spencer’s share price had fallen 12 percent since early October highs in part due to concerns over management’s quest to tell the ‘unvarnished truth,’ which had led to the acknowledgement that ‘food requires more work’. The comments come after last month, the group warned that it was facing headwinds at its Food business.

The broker’s own analysis of customer perceptions of Marks and Spencer’s food offering, however, showed a stronger rating than the major four supermarkets, with most thinking value and the shopping experience had improved over the last six months.

“Whilst more can be done on availability, consistent prices, better value promotions and a wider range, Marks and Spencer’s innovative, own-label fresh food is still a favourite with UK consumers,” Gulliver concluded.

Other analysts on blue-chip retailer

Deutsche Bank reaffirmed M&S as a ‘hold’ earlier this week, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip retailer currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 359.36p. 

As of 08:10 GMT, Friday, 15 December, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 307.20p.

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