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Centrica share price outperforms ahead of group’s trading update

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Shares in Centrica (LON:CNA) have climbed higher in London, outperforming the broader market, with investors awaiting the British Gas owner’s trading update tomorrow. The results will come after the company recently appointed The Weir Group’s Charles Berry as its new chairman, with Rick Haythornthwaite having unveiled plans to step down from the company.

As of 13:37 GMT, Centrica’s share price had added 1.82 percent to 148.25p, outperforming the broader UK market rally, which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index add 1.05 percent to 7,021.10 points so far today. The group’s shares have lost about 7.4 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 5.2-percent drop in the Footsie.

Centrica to post results

Centrica is scheduled to post a trading update tomorrow and Proactive Investors reports that Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, reckons that the market will be hoping there will not be a repeat of the prior year’s profit warning.

“In September the regulator announced the terms of caps on energy prices, which were less severe than expected and were viewed as a positive for the group and its ability to maintain the dividend next year,” the analyst pointed out, adding that any potential “updates on cost savings and its ability to hit financial targets will be worth noting”.

Lee Wild at Interactive Investor meanwhile said in a preview last week that ‘all the talk’ was of the group’s dividend and whether the British Gas owner would keep paying shareholders 12p a year.

Analyst ratings update

Goldman Sachs, which rates Centrica as a ‘buy,’ lowered its price target on the shares from 176p to 174p last week. According to MarketBeat, the British Gas owner currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 161.45p.

As of 14:01 GMT, Wednesday, 21 November, Centrica PLC share price is 147.15p.

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