Trying to predict how the Covid-19 crisis will impact on companies and sectors is not easy. Fortunately, large companies like Bunzl (LON:BNZL) are well covered by professional analysts who are used to making forecasts about them.
Bunzl is one of just 200 shares in the UK market valued at more than £1.0 billion (its market cap is £8,085m). Shares like this are closely watched because they have an influential role in the performance of investment funds and pension portfolios held by millions of savers.
So how have the shares performed over the past year?
On a 12 month basis, the Bunzl share price has seen an absolute move of 18.1%. On a relative basis - which take into account the movement of the wider market - the shares have moved by 36.8% over the past year and by 52.7% over the past six months.
But what now?
Do analysts rate it as a buy, sell or hold?
Regardless of recent performance, the main question is what the future holds. In uncertain economic conditions, it's often difficult to get an accurate view. The good news is that analysts generally have a solid understanding of the market's biggest businesses, so they are well-placed to make predictions. That shows up in their Buy, Hold and Sell recommendations.
Among the analysts covering Bunzl, there are currently:
- 2 Buy recommendations
- 5 Hold recommendations
- 0 Sell recommendations
With this kind of information, it's possible to start forming a view about the outlook for any share. A combination of recent price performance and analyst recommendations gives you a flavour of whether the market is expecting a bright future - or whether there are causes for concern.
It's also worth looking at the profile of the stock to understand whether it has strong positive exposure to important factors like Quality, Value and Momentum. On that basis, Stockopedia currently classifies Bunzl as a high flyer. You can read more about what that means here.
What does this mean for potential investors?
Bunzl is one of the most closely watched shares in the market. But while price trends and broker recommendations can give you an idea about the sentiment around a stock, they can't tell you everything.