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Hello, Share Tweakers. Next (NXT) is another retailer that realises online sales are becoming more dominant over high street stores. And that has paid off. A last-minute burst of computerised Christmas shopping has been especially beneficial, according to the clothing giant.
Happy New Year and all that...it is good - as a larger-cap share watcher - to finally have some proper and pukka newsflow to write about again. It was getting dangerously close to me having to write about the millennial bleating about how stock markets shockingly could actually go down. The even better news is that you do not have to suffer one of my subjective retail runaround pieces akin to my mid-December musings HERE. Back then I observed that;
Ahead of a more comprehensive review of annual broker and tipster activity next week, this week’s article focuses on two expected early-January trading announcements from Next (NXT) and Staffline (STAF). Strong returns on Next shares were wiped out during a disappointing second half to the year, while shareholders of Staffline will be happy with a return of over 20% in 2018. Both updates will be seen as important early indicators for their respective sectors, but are brokers and tipsters bullish about both companies’ future prospects?
As I have noted before, it is probably a good thing that the UK economy is not based on my personal consumption habits, especially when the highlight of my annual 'pre-Christmas trip to the shops' was purchasing an advent calendar marked down from its original price by over 75%... A very cheap way to buy some good quality chocolates (and - naturally - to ascertain the quality level I had to consume days one to fifteen in one sitting).
Interesting times for followers of more UK domestic focused shares in recent days. Both Nigel and I have already discussed BT Group (BT/A) on these pages. Meanwhile elsewhere, fears wax and wane over the omnipresent Brexit negotiations, which appears to be the biggest shorter-term influence on many UK listed names with high UK exposure.
Even a fashion luddite like me knows that clothing retail works best when you have a clear and distinct winter and summer period. The fashionistas and general public alike buy to look on-trend and functional as the temperatures respectively plummet or rise. In that vein then, the recent bout of extended hot weather was a retail bullseye - assuming, of course, that you have sufficient online capability to be active where increasingly the action is.
Well done Next (NXT). Despite the Sunday Times suggesting a retail shocker last Sunday, the waxing and waning of the British weather helped the company to pucker up and generate a positive surprise in its full price sales metric as the company noted in its statement from earlier today:
Back in mid-September I told you to take your trading profits on Next (NXT) at around fifty quid a share. Today's update highlights again that currently the only way to play even UK retail names with good market shares, decent balance sheets and a propensity to chuck out dividends and undertake share buybacks is with a trader's hat on.
If I told you that UK clothing retail behemoth Next (NXT) mentioned this morning that earnings per share for the current financial year were now estimated to be down between 3.1% and 10.9% you would probably not want to buy the share after muttering about the downbeat UK consumer, nobbled by a lack of real wage growth and a slumped Pound. Well you would be quite correct in not wanting to buy Next shares today...because with the stock up a cool 11% it is once again pushing close to the 50 quid a share level I hoped for as a share price target in my writings on the stock earlier in the year (for example HERE).
Such is the current pessimism about anything to do with UK retailers that despite confirming that this financial year will see a fall in profitability of between 6.9% and 13.4%, it is perfectly logical that Next (NXT) shares should be up handsomely today.
The seasons may have evolved a little but the message from FTSE-100 clothing behemoth Next (NXT) is basically unchanged. Life is still tough in a market where, in its words, ‘the UK consumer environment remains challenging’...
I cannot remember the last time I set foot in a Next (NXT) shop, but then I am not really much of a shopper. It seems I am not alone as in a trading update today Next mused that in the year up to and including Christmas Eve full price sales were down -1.1% on last year.
Hello Share Scrimpers. I think all those dire predictions for the end of high street shopping have been overdone. The internet may be scooping up a lot of the Christmas custom. But we should never forget that tons of that profitable traffic is linked to the big retail stores anyway.
Last week I had a deco at Next (NXT) shares, noting that the share price had weakened somewhat. The share price then was 6,905p and arguably the share looked as though it had found some linear trend support. But something stayed my hand. Was it the god of markets placing a forbidding index finger on my shoulder? More probably it was the rating the market had given the shares. On consensus estimates for the current year to January 2015 the share at 6,905p was on a prospective PER of nearly 17 times. Next is a remarkably successful company and deserves its premium but even so……?
Back in November I looked at ABF Foods (ABF) and thought it overvalued – it has looked highly valued for some time. The price then was about 2208p. It is now 2,658p - last seen - up 20%.
Well, if there is a case for buying Marks and Spencer (MKS) shares on the basis that it is more an investment in business model reform and not an investment in a recovery in the UK’s flat, stale and unprofitable economy and its stagnant consumer spending, is there also case for investing in Next (NXT) shares?
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