Stock watch: Investors urged to ‘hold’ Next

12th September 2013

As the FTSE 100 listed fashion retailer Next reports a strong set of first half results, stockbrokers are recommending investors stay put and ‘hold’.

Next’s strong first half results announced this morning show the retailer continues to deliver in difficult markets.

Pre-tax profits increased 8.2% to £271.8m in the six months to end of June.

Sheridan Admans investment research manager at The Share Centre says: “It is encouraging to see the retailer aims to continue cost savings, grow and invest in its online business and expand its retail space. It sees a combination of high street stores and online operations as a key to enhance earnings.

“For now we continue to recommend Next as a strong ‘hold’ for investors as employment and the UK economy show tentative signs of improving.”

Next shares have rallied by some 46% in the past 12 months and by 25% over 6 months. The broker consensus on share data site Digital Look is ‘neutral’ towards the stock.

“These strong results are positive for the sector as The Share Centre’s latest Profit Watch UK report, data reported up to the end of June 2013, shows that Next makes up 11% of the sector’s revenues and its significantly higher margins mean it is responsible for 29% of its net profits,” says Admans.


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