Hargreaves Lansdown believes that Marks & Spencer Group’s (LON:MKS) turnaround plan may be too late to help, Citywire reports. The downbeat comments came after the high street retailer unveiled a drop in both its clothing and food sales for the 13 weeks to December 30.
Marks & Spencer’s share price, which posted a hefty fall in the previous session, has started to recover in today’s trading, having gained 1.06 percent to 304.40p as of 09:50 GMT. The group’s shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.12 percent higher at 7,771.89 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 11 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 6.5-percent rise in the Footsie.
Hargreaves Lansdown downbeat on M&S
Citywire quoted Hargreaves Lansdown’s analyst Laith Khalaf as commenting that Marks & Spencer’s numbers yesterday were ‘disappointing’ especially in its food division, and online, which had been the ‘bright light of the M&S empire’. He added that online sales growth looked ‘pretty feeble when compared to the wider market’.
“It’s still early days in the M&S turnaround plan, however the risk is by the time M&S gets up to speed, the rest of the pack might have disappeared out of sight,” the analyst concluded, as quoted by Citywire.
Other analysts on blue-chip retailer
JPMorgan Chase & Co remains bearish on M&S, having reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating on the stock today, with a price target of 285p on the shares. Deutsche Bank, which sees the retailer as a ‘hold,’ and Peel Hunt, which rates the group as a ‘buy,’ have both trimmed their valuations on the shares, from 335p to 330p, and from 450p to 375p, respectively. According to MarketBeat, Marks & Spencer currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 354.14p.