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Morrisons share price subdued ahead of Q1 results

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Shares in Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) have been subdued in London in today’s session as the company prepares to update investors on its first-quarter performance tomorrow. The results will follow the recent full-year update of peer J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY).

As of 13:57 BST, Morrisons’ share price had given up 0.51 percent to 213.80p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.18 percent lower at 7,247.75 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 11 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a four-percent fall in the Footsie.

Morrisons results preview

Morrisons is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance tomorrow and City A.M. reports that analysts at Barclays are expecting the blue-chip supermarket to report total like-for-like growth of 3.1 percent during the quarter, down from 3.8-percent growth in the previous three months.

“Morrison has grown its sales on a like-for-like basis, excluding fuel and VAT, for the last 13 quarters and it will be looking to extend that record, with the fourth-quarter’s 3.8 per cent rate of increase and last year’s overall increase of 4.8 per cent the likely benchmarks,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, commented, as quoted by City A.M.

The results will come after Kantar Worldpanel said last week that Morrisons’ grocery sales had grown 0.6 percent in the 12 weeks to April 21, while its market share stood at 10.3 percent.

Analyst ratings update

The 15 analysts offering 12-month targets for the Morrisons share price for the Financial Times have a median target of 240.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 290.00p and a low estimate of 195.00p. As of May 3, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip supermarket advises investors to hold their position in the company.

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