Home > UK share prices watch: Grocers in the red

UK share prices watch: Grocers in the red

June 25, 2019 By Tsveta Zikolova

London-listed grocers are among today’s UK share prices to watch, drifting lower following the latest industry data. Broader market sentiment meanwhile remains subdued as the US slapped sanctions on Iran, adding further worries ahead of the G20 summit this week which will see President Donald Trump meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping amid strained trade relations between Washington and Beijing.

London-listed grocers drift lower

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London-listed grocers Tesco (LON:TSCO), Morrisons (LON:MRW) and Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) are all in the doldrums after Kantar Worldpanel announced in a statement today that UK supermarket sales had grown 1.4 percent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to June 16.

“The modest level of current growth is thanks in no small part to the wet start to the summer, with last year’s heatwave and the run up to the men’s FIFA World Cup making 2018 a difficult year to top,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, commented in the statement.

At Tesco, sales were flat year-on-year during the reported period, while the grocer lost market share. At Sainsbury’s sales fell 0.6 percent, while Morrisons’ sales decreased 0.5 percent, lowering its share to 10.4 percent of grocery sales. While online retailer Ocado (LON:OCDO) emerged as the UK’s fastest-growing supermarket, Kantar said that only three percent of British shoppers currently buy from the retailer.

In share price moves, Tesco’s share price has given up a little more than two percent in early afternoon trade in London, as compared with about a drop of 0.1 percent in the Footsie. Morrisons’ shares are about 1.8 percent down, while Sainsbury’s stock is 1.2 percent worse off. Ocado’s shares are changing hands about one percent in the red.

In individual UK share prices to watch, Carpetright (LON:CPR) is rallying even as the company posted a fall in full-year revenue and earnings. The company, however, said that UK like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks of the new financial year were ahead by 8.5 percent against the group’s prior-year comparative.

“With the business having seemingly found its feet, thanks to right-sizing the store estate, management now have to focus on reviving sales growth and thankfully they are off to a good start,” AJ Bell’s Russ Mould commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors. Carpetright’s shares have added more than 10 percent in early afternoon trade.

Energy group Petrofac (LON:PFC) meanwhile is under the cosh as the company updated investors on its recent trading, pointing to recent challenges in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and flagging net margins at the low end of guidance at its Engineering and Construction division. Petrofac’s shares are about five percent worse off.

Broader market sentiment expectedly remains subdued, with investors staying on the sidelines ahead of the G20 summit which is likely to include talks between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

“Optimism is fading a little and we would expect investors to perhaps take some risk off the table ahead of the meeting, particularly given the recent bump,” Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said, as quoted by Reuters.

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UK share prices to watch tomorrow

Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com

Tomorrow’s UK share prices to watch include blue-chip company Bunzl (LON:BNZL) which is set to post a trading statement. Proactive Investors quoted AJ Bell’s Russ Mould in commenting in a preview of the results that the support services group’s “return on sales has been pretty stable around the 6.5 percent to 7.0 percent level for the last decade or so, on an adjusted basis, as we can see here, although the stated number has been more volatile, owing to restructuring costs related to the companies purchased”.

In smaller London-listed companies, Stagecoach (LON:SGC) is scheduled to post its preliminary results tomorrow, after saying in an update in April that it had “seen further strong trading and positive progress in the UK Rail Division, resulting in an increase in our expectations for adjusted earnings per share”. Proactive Investors reports that Liberum expects the transport company to post pre-tax profit of £143.5 million for the 2019 financial year, compared to £95.3 million for the prior-year period. The analysts further expect Stagecoach’s pre-tax profit will to fall to £101.9 million in 2020 and to £89.5 million in 2021.

Energy groups Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) and John Wood Group (LON:WG) are also due to update investors on their performance tomorrow.

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