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Next share price heads south as group’s retail sales fall

Shares in Next (LON:NXT) have fallen deep into the red in today’s session, as the company revealed a fall in retail sales in the third quarter of the year. The group, however, nevertheless reiterated its full-year guidance.

As of 09:41 BST, Next’s share price had given up 3.92 percent to 5,098.00p, underperforming the broader market rally which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index surge 1.54 percent to 7,143.90 points so far this morning. The blue-chip group’s shares have added just under five percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near five-percent dip in the Footsie.

Next posts Q3 results

Next announced in a statement this morning that its full price sales for the third quarter had climbed two percent, with a 12.7-percent gain in online sales helping offset an eight-percent drop in retail sales. The company said that it maintained its full-year sales and profit guidance.

Last month, Next raised its central guidance for full year profit before tax by £10 million to £727 million, broadly in line with the group’s last year's profit of £726.1 million.

Analysts on retailer

The 17 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Next for the Financial Times have a median target of 5,600.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 6,700.00p and a low estimate of 4,100.00p. As of October 26, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip retailer advises investors to hold their position in the company. 

Shore Capital reaffirmed Next as a ‘hold’ in the run-up to the results. Citywire quoted the broker’s analyst Greg Lawless as commenting yesterday that the group remained “well-managed with tight cost and stock control” and that the shares remained ‘fairly valued’.

As of 09:55 GMT, Wednesday, 31 October, NEXT plc share price is 5,158.00p.

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