Shares in Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) have been little changed in today’s trading, ahead of the blue-chip grocer’s third-quarter update tomorrow. The results will come after Kantar Worldpanel recently said that the blue-chip supermarket’s sales had climbed by 2.4 percent in the 12 weeks to October 7.
As of 14:37 GMT, Morrisons’ share price had climbed 0.20 percent to 255.55p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.62 percent higher at 7,137.86 points. The group’s shares have added just under a fifth to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 5.7-percent dip in the Footsie.
Morrisons to post results
Morrisons is scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter performance tomorrow and Proactive Investors reports that Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, reckons that unusual weather patterns over this year may have a knock on effect on the latest quarterly figures. The analyst thinks that while it might be difficult for the blue-chip supermarket to replicate the 6.3-percent like-for-like sales growth it experienced in the second quarter which was helped by the warm weather, investors should be fairly happy with Kantar’s 2.4-percent estimate.
“While many will applaud what management have done, it is no doubt true that there remain many challenges, with the German discounters who have upped the ante by seeking further expansion, and a proposed Sainsbury Asda merger pose the biggest problems,” Spooner concluded, as quoted by the newswire.
Analyst ratings update
The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Morrisons for the Financial Times have a median target of 250.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 300.00p and a low estimate of 195.00. As of November 2, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.