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Next share price rallies as retailer lifts guidance

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Next’s (LON:NXT) share price has surged in London this Wednesday as the blue-chip retailer hiked its full-year sales and profit guidance. The move came as the company updated investors on its second-quarter performance, posting higher-than-anticipated sales for the period.

As of 09:04 BST, Next’s share price had added 8.62 percent to 6,100.00p. The stock is outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.30 percent lower at 7,623.99 points, partly pressured by a drop in Lloyds (LON:LLOY), whose shares have been sold off as the bailed-out lender revealed a drop in interim profit. The group’s shares have added just under three percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.6-percent fall in the Footsie.

Next lifts full-year guidance

Next announced in a statement this morning that its full-price sales for the second quarter had climbed four percent on the prior-year period. The company said that the result was better than anticipated and 4.5-percent better than its May guidance for a drop of 0.5 percent. The high street retailer said that it was lifting its full-year full-price sales guidance from 1.7 percent to 3.6 percent, and its earnings per share guidance from 3.4 percent to 5.2 percent up on last year.

“We overestimated the beneficial impact of the weather last year and have focused on improving our stock availability in stores in the first and second quarter, which may have helped sales,” Chief Executive Officer Simon Wolfson told Bloomberg News by phone.

Analysts on FTSE 100 retailer

The 16 analysts offering 12-month targets for the Next share price for the Financial Times have a median target of 5,262.50p, with a high estimate of 6,600.00p and a low estimate of 4,100.00p. As of Jul 26, the consensus forecast amongst 23 polled investment analysts covering NEXT plc advises investors to hold their position in the company.

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