Shares in Wm Morrison Supermarket (LON:MRW) have fell into negative territory in London this morning, even as the blue-chip grocer delivered a rise in sales and announced another special dividend. The blue-chip group’s profit, however, fell marginally short of analyst expectations.
As of 08:57 GMT, Morrisons’ share price had given up 0.53 percent to 223.95p. The shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.05 percent higher at 7,154.65 points.
Morrisons posts FY results
Morrisons announced in a statement this morning that its like-for-like sales excluding fuel had climbed 4.8 percent in the financial year ended February 3. The group’s total revenue meanwhile came in 2.8 percent higher at £17.7 billion, while profit before tax climbed 8.6 percent to £406 million during the reported period. Reuters, however, noted in its coverage of the news that the analysts’ average forecast stood at £407 million.
“A third consecutive year of strong sales and profit growth, and a total annual dividend up over 150 percent during those three years, show the Morrisons turnaround is well on track,” the blue-chip grocer’s chief executive David Potts commented in the statement. The company announced full-year total dividend of 12.60p, up 24.9 percent year-on-year, and unveiled a further special dividend of 4.00p, taking the full-year special dividend to 6.00p.
Going forward, the blue-chip supermarket plans to trial converting ten McColl’s stores to Morrisons Daily convenience stores. The companies inked a wholesale deal back in 2017.
Analysts on supermarket
The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Morrisons for the Financial Times have a median target of 255.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 290.00p and a low estimate of 195.00p. As of March 9, the consensus forecast amongst 21 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip supermarket advises investors to hold their position in the company.