Praise for Next after resilient trading
Next’s 0.4% rise in sales for the quarter ended Oct. 29 and an unchanged profit outlook helped push its shares up more than 2%, while providing a broader boost to confidence in shopping streets.
The shares are 109p higher at 5072p, but broker Liberum has a “buy” recommendation and a price target of 7500p, considering the FTSE 100-listed company one of its favorite consumer-focused stocks for 2023.
Liberum said: “We already knew much of the third quarter when the group announced its interims, but the last five weeks have seen a 1.4% increase in full price sales.
“The group’s performance has been admirable and the unchanged guidance for pre-tax profit of £840m and a very strong balance sheet allow us to make Next one of our top picks for the next 12 months.”
GSK raises full-year sales and profit forecast after vaccine surge
GlaxoSmithKline raised its full-year sales forecast, helped by demand for its shingles vaccine.
The company said it now expects to report revenue growth of between 8% and 10% at constant currencies, with operating profit up 15% to 17% for 2022. The forecast excludes any contribution from its Covid vaccine.
Sales of the ts Shingrix vaccine rose 51% to a record £760m. Overall quarterly sales rose 9% to almost £8 billion.
Aston Martin Lagonda announces record average selling price
The average price of an Aston Martin Lagonda sports car hit a record £173,000 in the third quarter, helping the newly recapitalized company record an increase in revenue despite delivering fewer vehicles due to difficulties in its chain supply.
James Bond’s favorite carmaker said ‘strong pricing momentum’ took its average selling price to an all-time high, from £150,000 a year ago, helping the car’s revenues to date to increase by 16% to £857 million.
It recorded an operating loss of £148m for the year to date and £58.5m in the third quarter. The FTSE 250 company, which recently completed a major fundraising round, said “supply chain issues continued to dampen potential growth.”
But demand remained strong, with GT/Sports cars now sold out in Q2 2023 and DBX orders up more than 40% year-over-year. He has delivered 44 Valkyrie cars so far in 2022, the model he says comes closest to a Formula 1 car without being limited to the track.
US markets fall ahead of rate decision, FTSE 100 up
Further evidence of a robust US job market means Wall Street indices gave up early gains to end in negative territory last night.
The unexpected increase in vacancies in September has fueled doubts about whether the Federal Reserve will be able to slow the pace of interest rate hikes once the expected fourth straight increase of 0.75% ends this evening.
Markets rose sharply in October, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 14% in the month on hopes that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell could signal a pivot in the bank’s approach central to fighting inflation.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, points out that there are two sets of inflation and employment reports ahead of the December meeting.
He added: “Powell will have to keep the prospect of a 0.75% rate hike on the table if he is serious, as he said in September that the Fed was ‘strongly committed’ to bringing inflation down. .”
The FTSE 100 added 1.3% yesterday amid speculation that China is preparing a gradual exit from its zero Covid policy. Hewson expects the Elite to open 15 points higher at 7201 in today’s session.