Shares in Wm Morrison Supermarkets have advanced in London in today’s session, as the latest industry data showed that the grocer’s sales had continued to grow in the 12 weeks to May 20. The news comes after the blue-chip grocer recently posted a ‘strong start’ to its new financial year.
As of 13:16 BST, Morrisons’ share price had added 0.94 percent to 246.90p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.26 percent higher at 7,652.72 points. The group’s shares have added about 1.3 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a 1.7-percent gain in the Footsie.
Latest Kantar data
Kantar Worldpanel announced in a statement today UK grocery sales had grown 2.7 percent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to May 20, finding support in recent hot weather, a bank holiday as well as the Royal Wedding on May 19. Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel, commented that “the Friday before the day of the wedding and the FA Cup Final experienced a particularly noticeable spike in sales, with grocers clocking in £415 million over the 24 hours”.
Morrisons meanwhile performed particularly well, with sales growing 2.9 percent, ahead of the overall market. Hayward noted that the blue-chip grocer had “been enjoying a successful run of form,” having now “celebrated 19 consecutive periods of sales growth”. The supermarket further maintained its market share at 10.5 percent and succeeded in attracting an additional 311,000 new shoppers.
Analysts on Morrisons
The 13 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Morrisons for the Financial Times have a median target of 240.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 275.00p and a low estimate of 195.00p. As of May 25, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip supermarket advises investors to hold their position in the company.