|Bid||223.10 x 0|
|Ask||223.70 x 0|
|Day's Range||221.00 - 236.50|
|52 Week Range||161.35 - 306.20|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.80|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||44.72|
|Earnings Date||Nov 6, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.11 (5.26%)|
|1y Target Est||294.84|
Investing.com -- Here is a summary of the most important regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, 12th December. Please refresh for updates.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Marks & Spencer Group Plc is no longer analysts’ least favorite British retailer.RBC’s move to outperform on Tuesday -- the third broker upgrade in less than a week -- means that based on a score of consensus recommendations, M&S has pulled clear of Sports Direct International Plc, with whom it had shared the joint lowest-ranking in the FTSE 350 General Retailers index. The consensus -- a proxy for the ratio of buy, hold and sell ratings -- is now 2.58, the highest since July 2018.RBC’s bullishness stems from M&S’s “price investment in high volume lines, less confusing promotional activity and stronger new innovation pipeline,” analyst Richard Chamberlain wrote in a note.His move follows recent upgrades by Goldman Sachs, which cited improving customer opinions on the company’s womenswear range, and JPMorgan. Plenty remain skeptical, however, with a downgrade by Morningstar on Monday meaning the London-based clothing and food retailer still only has four buy ratings among 24 analysts.After a year in which M&S fell out of the FTSE 100 index and the share price is down 13% even after a recent rally, the upgrades at least provide investors with some positive signs moving into 2020.\--With assistance from Sam Unsted and Lisa Pham.To contact the reporter on this story: Ivan Edwards in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Beth Mellor at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul JarvisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. The flip side of that is that...
Ocado Group Plc’s new deal in Japan is appetizing, but it’s probably bitten off more than it can chew.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The online grocer that’s specialized in automating how orders are filled said on Friday that it will provide Aeon Co. with its technology, initially in the region around Tokyo. It hasn’t put a value on the deal, but Ocado expects the contract to cover sales of about 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) by 2025, rising to about 7 billion pounds by 2035.To achieve that, analysts at Bernstein estimate that it will need to build about 20 automated warehouses, the same number envisaged in Ocado’s biggest deal to date with U.S. supermarket group Kroger Co.It’s not surprising that Ocado Chief Executive Officer Tim Steiner has been tantalized by licensing the company’s software in Asia. Japan is the world’s fourth-biggest grocery market, according to industry researcher IGD. There’s also potential in other parts of Asia.But Ocado already has a lot on its plate, not least the Kroger partnership, where success is crucial to enhancing its credibility with clients and investors alike. The shares slumped earlier this month on concerns that its roll-out at one of the U.S.’s biggest traditional grocery retailers was progressing slower than expected. Ocado is also facing a new challenge from startup Takeoff Technologies. Like Ocado, which was started by three former Goldman Sachs bankers, its executives have Wall Street as well as grocery industry experience. But, rather than building giant state-of-the-art warehouses, it concentrates on making the process of picking groceries directly off of supermarket shelves for home delivery more efficient. This model has also been favored by Tesco Plc in the U.K.Ocado sought to reassure investors recently that the relationship with Kroger was on track, announcing the sixth location for what in industry jargon is called a fulfillment center. But given the importance of this contract, the fact that the U.S. is still the world’s biggest grocery market and that the group had been chasing tie-up there for years, it would have been better to keep it as its priority.When it comes to the capital available for investing in these big international partnerships, shareholders can take heart. Ocado’s sale earlier this year of a 50% stake in its U.K. online grocery business to Marks & Spencer Group Plc for up to 750 million pounds, boosted its coffers.Ocado said it had 1 billion pounds of headroom. With each warehouse costing about 30 million pounds, it has scope to build 30. Even with all the recent contract wins, it doesn’t expect to have to build more than 30 distribution centers, so it should have enough capital for its current commitments. Management bandwidth is another story. Next year, Ocado will be juggling the Kroger contract, getting Aeon off the ground and overseeing the transition to M&S becoming its grocery supplier in the U.K. That’s a lot to do. And let’s not forget its other contracts with Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA in France, Sobeys Inc. in Canada and Coles Group in Australia.The Aeon contract will also require yet more developers to prepare the technology too. Ocado estimates it will need to take on an extra 400 people to get the job done.Investors shrugged off any such concerns on Friday, with the shares rising as much as 15%. But Ocado has a history of unexpected items in its bagging area, from not having enough capacity in its warehouses to a fire at one of its robotic fulfillment centers in the U.K. earlier this year. Over-filling its delivery box increases the risk of more unpleasant surprises.((Corrects scale to trillion in first chart.))To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com -- Here is a summary of regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, 28th November. Please refresh for updates
British retailer Marks & Spencer has appointed the chief executive of rival Tesco's F&F Clothing division to be the boss of its struggling clothing and home business, it said on Friday. M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, said Richard Price, 52, would re-join the group as managing director, clothing & home next year. The appointment sent shares in M&S up 2.7% by 1540 GMT, paring losses over the last year to 33%.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In the malaise of Brexit, Brits have been drowning their sorrows in gin and tonic. And rather than do it themselves, they’ve continued to call on the local handyman, fondly referred to as the white van man, to fix their bathroom taps.There were signs on Wednesday that that’s beginning to change.Fevertree Drinks Plc, maker of what Tatler magazine dubbed the ultimate mixers, said sales would be lower than expected this year while British home-improvement retailer Kingfisher Plc, owner of B&Q chain, said its third quarter was disappointing. Sales are even slowing at the previously fast-growing Screwfix, which primarily serves building professionals such as plumbers.They are not the only ones to bemoan the state of the British consumer.Both online appliance and electronics retailer AO World Plc and clothing and food stalwart Marks & Spencer Group Plc have cautioned that shoppers are behaving as if they are in a recession, despite wage growth running ahead of inflation and strong employment.For Fevertree, which rode the cocktail craze, the about turn has been particularly abrupt. Its shares reached an all-time high of almost 40 pounds in October last year on back of the gin boom. Up until this year, this had prompted the group to repeatedly increase its sales and profit forecasts.But fears have been mounting that we have reached “peak gin” with the shares almost halving from their high to about 21 pounds.Brits are still drinking when they go out to bars and clubs, but they’re not filling their shopping carts with the making for DIY cocktails. Part of the weakness is due to the comparison with summer 2018, when Britain was basking in a heatwave and enjoying a boost from England’s ride to the semi-finals of the World Cup soccer tournament.But it also reflects a more cautious consumer. With fewer reasons this year for a drink at home, more careful Brits don’t need as many mixers. And when they do have a tipple, they may choose a cheaper option than a pricey one made by Fevertree. That is not helped by increased competition such as a new premium mixer range from Schweppes, nor a general tendency by grocers to offer more promotions and discounts.Trading at Britain’s supermarkets has been subdued. While clothing retailers may have seen some revival in demand thanks to much colder weather than a year ago, that hasn’t been the case at the grocers. Supermarket sales were sluggish in October, according to data provider Kantar.Much will now depend on the crucial Christmas trading period. This year looks particularly challenging, given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the forthcoming general election, scheduled smack dab at the height of the holiday shopping season.As for Fevertree, with the slowdown in the U.K., it is under more pressure to develop its business in the U.S. The company forecasts that sales there will rise 34% this year. With the U.K. still accounting for about half of group revenue, clearly this is not enough to offset the domestic weakness.Even with the sell-off over the past 12 months, the shares still trade on a forward price-earnings ratio of over 30, an about 50% premium to the Bloomberg Intelligence global valuation peer group. Fevertree sees the slow-down in its home market as a short-term blip. But with such a fizzy valuation, there’s not much scope for further disappointment.It could be a dry January in more ways than one.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It looks like Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON:MKS) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. This means that...
Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON:MKS), which is in the multiline retail business, and is based in United Kingdom, saw...
Britain's Marks & Spencer reported a 17% drop in first-half profit, dragged down by falling clothing sales, but said it was confident it could fix its problems and return to growth, sending its battered shares higher. Shares in the 135-year-old M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, were up 3.2% at 1008 GMT, paring losses for the year to 35%, after it forecast improved second half trading and said its latest attempt at a turnaround was making progress. M&S set out on its "transformation" plan shortly after retail veteran Archie Norman became chairman in 2017 to work alongside CEO Steve Rowe, who has been with the company for 30 years and became its boss in 2016.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- British retailers begging Santa for a Brexit deal for Christmas may be getting what they asked for.The crucial holiday shopping period, which accounts for a large proportion of their annual profit, is always nail-biting for store chains. This year, it is inextricably linked to Britain’s departure from the European Union.With a Brexit divorce deal in hand, fears of a no-deal split have receded. Crashing out on Oct. 31 would have been disastrous. By contrast, a deal – assuming it gets through the U.K. parliament – has the potential to bring a feel-good factor for retailers. It could unleash some pent up demand, particularly for big ticket items, such as fitted kitchens and sofas. Consumers have held back from splurging on such things, even though wage growth has been outpacing inflation. Demand has already picked up this month, thanks largely to colder weather compared with a year ago. That may bode well.But, there’s still plenty of uncertainly that could weigh down the festivities, including the possibility of the current deal collapsing, a referendum to confirm it or a general election being hastily called. For the past couple of years, consumers’ anxiety over Brexit hasn’t been at a constant level. It has ebbed and flowed with the sense of crisis in government.In September, the volatility was so extreme that some retailers could even predict their sales based on that day’s headlines. The collapse of Thomas Cook, another jolt to the consumer sector, didn’t help either. Any election campaigning on crucial shopping days would be equally distracting, particularly for affluent Britons fearful of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. But all year the British high street has been battling cautious consumers, as well as the rise of online shopping. Even internet-based retailer Asos Plc has been hurt by nimbler rivals.Whatever happens with Brexit, the prime holiday shopping period will fall late. Christmas is on a Wednesday this year, providing a full extra weekend in December to shop ahead of the holiday.Black Friday, the crazy U.S. shopping tradition that’s taken the world by storm, is at the end of November, a week later than in 2018. Over the past five years, the price-slashing event has sucked forward about 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of spending from December into November, according to Richard Hyman, the independent retail analyst. It is always hard for stores that have discounted over the Black Friday weekend to return to full price for Christmas. This year’s timing makes it virtually impossible. Even if demand isn’t disrupted by another Brexit hiatus or an election, there is the potential for discounts running from the end of November through to the holiday. It’s going to be hard for chains to hold their nerve.Brexit means forecasting Christmas sales is even more difficult than usual. But Hyman estimates that non-food sales will fall by 1%, while food sales will be flat, both a deceleration from last year. If he’s right, it would be the first drop December non-food sales since the referendum. Given that the level of discounting is likely to be intense wherever sales land, they are likely to be less profitable.Amid this environment, what is certain is that the discount sector will do well, in food and fashion. The U.K. arms of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl are making efforts once more to prevent customers defecting to one of the big British supermarkets for their main holiday shopping. Upmarket and vegan food products will be a particular feature of their festive offering. Associated British Foods Plc’s Primark, which has been elevating its gift selection and party dresses over the past few years, should also do well.Mid-market chains, such as Marks & Spencer Group Plc could find life tougher, even as some of their competitors are weakened. The privately owned John Lewis Partnership is preparing for even its more financially comfortable customers to be cautious, with plenty of gifts under 20 pounds such as Fever-Tree gin &tonic Christmas crackers and so-called experiences, such as personal shopping and spa days. Although they are more expensive, at about 100 pounds, consumers may feel they are getting more for their money than when they buy traditional gifts.And even if Christmas does turn out to be better than expected – because a Brexit deal has been struck and an election delayed until 2020 — that doesn’t mean plain sailing from now on. The political wrangling is far from over. What’s more, three years of uncertainty have taken their toll on business investment. Britain shed jobs over the summer for the first time in two years. And let’s not forget any impact from a global slowdown in 2020. Consumers make the most drastic changes to their spending when they are made redundant or they see friends leaving the workforce.British retailers should extend their Christmas wish list to what happens in the New Year too.\--With assistance from Therese Raphael.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
British online supermarket Ocado could start home deliveries of the full Marks & Spencer range before next September, ahead of their joint venture's original deadline, it said on Tuesday. Ocado and M&S completed the 1.5 billion pound ($1.9 billion) joint venture deal in August, creating Ocado Retail and signalling the end of Ocado's supply contract with upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose in September 2020. "There is a chance we might bring forward, at least partially bring forward, that transition date," Ocado finance chief Duncan Tatton-Brown told reporters.
Marks & Spencer will be relegated from London's FTSE 100 index for the first time since the inception of the blue-chip index in 1984, according to Reuters calculations based on Tuesday's closing prices. The 135-year old retailer's shares were valued at 3.7 billion pounds ($4.54 billion), making it the 115th most valuable stock among London-listed companies, according to closing data. FTSE Russell, London Stock Exchange-owned index provider, requires companies to be ranked 110 or higher to be a part of the FTSE 100 index.
Marks & Spencer is set to be evicted from the FTSE 100 index of Britain's biggest firms. That's according to Reuters calculations based on Tuesday's (September 3) closing prices. Declines in its shares mean it's now ranked outside the top 100. It will be the first time the 135-year-old company has not been part of the blue-chip list. Though on Wednesday (September 4) morning M&S stock was beating the broader index - up around two percent in early trade. The shares recovering some losses posted this week ahead of its FTSE expulsion. They were also buoyed by wider market optimism after lawmakers took steps to avert a no-deal Brexit. The longer term impact may be less positive though. For one thing, M&S shares won't now be held by investment funds that track Britain's top companies. They have already lost about 40 percent of their value since early 2018. The historic chain has struggled with competition in clothing, food and, particularly, online sales. Nimbler, younger rivals like Zara and H&M have taken market share. In response M&S has pressed ahead with a restructuring under chairman Archie Norman. Now the FTSE reshuffle will be formally announced after the close of trading on Wednesday. It will take effect on September 23.