Shares in National Grid (LON:NG) have advanced this morning as the blue-chip group delivered a rise in profits and hiked its payout to shareholders. The group further signalled that it expects its medium-term growth to be at the top end of its expected range.
As of 10:29 BST, National Grid’s share price had added 0.86 percent to 839.70p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.08 percent in the red at 7,728.12 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 27 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a three-percent gain in the Footsie.
National Grid posts results
National Grid announced in a statement this morning that its underlying operating profit had climbed four percent to £3.5 billion in the financial year ended March 31. Profit before tax also rose four percent during the reported period, to £2.7 billion. The power grid operator recommended a full-year dividend of 45.93p per share, marking a 3.75-percent rise on last year’s 44.27p per share.
“We delivered strong operational and financial performance in 2017/18,” National Grid’s chief executive John Pettigrew commented in the results statement, adding that going forward, the FTSE 100 group expects growth at the top end of its between five-to-seven percent range for the medium term, and at least seven percent in the near term.
Analysts on blue-chip group
The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for National Grid for the Financial Times have a median target of 900.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 1,140.00p and a low estimate of 780.00p. As of May 11, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.