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Unilever share price: Analysts positive on pricing

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Markets.com believes that Unilever’s (LON:ULVR) half-year results were clouded by slightly weaker-than-expected second quarter sales growth, Citywire reports. The comments came after the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant unveiled a fall in turnover yesterday and posted weaker-than-expected underlying sales growth for the first half of the year.

Unilever’s share price fell in the previous session, giving up 2.04 percent to close at 4,896.00p, and underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index closing 0.17 percent lower at 7,489.05 points. This morning, the company’s shares have climbed marginally higher, having gained 0.02 percent to 4,897.00p as of 08:11 BST, as compared with a 0.2-percent gain in the Footsie.

Markets.com weighs in on Unilever

Citywire quoted Markets.com’s analyst Neil Wilson as commenting that Unilever’s “growth is being driven more by price than volume, which is positive”. The comments came after the group disclosed yesterday that it had seen mixed growth in its markets, with Europe and North America held back by the impact of weather on ice cream sales.

“We’ve seen how volume has been the chief driver of growth but noted in October that there were more encouraging signs about inflation,” the analyst pointed out, adding that the numbers showed that pricing was “playing a bigger part as increasingly Unilever enjoys a more encouraging pricing environment”.

Wilson reckons has pointed to the lack of volume growth as the new concern for investors.

Other analysts on Anglo-Dutch group

JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is bearish on the group with a ‘sell’ rating, set a target on the Unilever share price of 4,700p yesterday, while Goldman Sachs, which rates the company as ‘neutral,’ set a valuation of 4,800p on the consumer goods giant. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 4,651.11p.

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