Shares in Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) have gained ground in London this morning, ahead of the company’s Christmas trading update tomorrow. Analysts are expecting the company to unveil a rise in sales, marking the grocer’s ninth straight quarter of growth.
As of 09:48 GMT, Morrisons’ share price had added 0.58 percent to 226.50p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.04 percent higher at 7,726.97 points. The group’s shares have lost more than four percent of their value over the past year, as compared with more than a seven-percent rise in the Footsie.
Grocer to post trading update
Morrisons is scheduled to update investors on its Christmas trading performance tomorrow and Reuters reports that analysts on average forecast a rise in group like-for-like sales of 1.8 percent. The result would mark a deceleration from the group’s previous quarter but would nevertheless be a ninth straight quarter of growth.
FTSE 100 rival J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) is scheduled to follow Morrisons on Wednesday, while Tesco (LON:TSCO) reports on Friday. Reuters notes that while the UK’s big quoted retailers are expected to have performed respectably, a theme for the period is likely to be a further shift in market share to the German discounters, reflecting defensively minded consumers.
The update will come after Morrisons recently made the ‘name and shame’ list ordered by the prime minister, which includes firms rewarding bosses with ‘fat cat pay’.
Other analysts on Morrisons
The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Morrisons for the Financial Times have a median target of 230.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 275.00p and a low estimate of 170.00p. As of January 6, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.