MRW.L - Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
184.15
+1.55 (+0.85%)
At close: 4:35PM GMT
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Previous close182.60
Open182.25
Bid184.70 x 0
Ask184.80 x 0
Day's range182.25 - 185.50
52-week range176.90 - 246.45
Volume4,175,191
Avg. volume8,761,854
Market cap4.428B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.36
PE ratio (TTM)14.39
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield0.07 (3.56%)
Ex-dividend date26 Sep 2019
1y target estN/A
  • Cheapest supermarkets to shop as a vegan
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  • Is There An Opportunity With Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC's (LON:MRW) 38% Undervaluation?
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  • Is the Morrison share price (LON:MRW) good value?
    Stockopedia

    Is the Morrison share price (LON:MRW) good value?

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  • Horrid Holidays Can't All Be Blamed on Brexit
    Bloomberg

    Horrid Holidays Can't All Be Blamed on Brexit

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Christmas 2019 should be consigned to the dustbin along with the crumpled wrapping paper and the wilted tree. That’s the message that has come in loud and clear from British retailers. And it caps off a miserable year. Total sales for 2019 fell by 0.1%, the worst year on record, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.There’s no doubt consumers were cautious in the run-up to the holidays. But store groups can’t blame it all on Brexit. There were some own goals, too.Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc missed the halo effect from Black Friday by reining in promotions right as shoppers sought deals during the U.S-imported retail frenzy. Marks & Spencer Group Plc also hasn’t participated for the past few years. While it’s the right instinct to protect against diluting margins ahead of the holiday season, going too far to do so is painful too.John Lewis Partnership Plc warned that its profit would be “significantly lower” than a year ago, and parted company with the head of its department-store arm, Paula Nickolds. It’s hard not to think the privately held company’s challenges have been made worse by some of its own decisions, such as blindly sticking to its pledge to always be cheaper than rivals. Times have changed since the promise was made many years ago, and it’s become untenable in a market characterized by intense and constant discounting.But perhaps the performance by M&S is the most disappointing. After seeing some positive signs in women’s wear, it made a fashion faux pas in men’s clothing by getting too trendy for many of its customers. Its range of more contemporary, slim fitting shirts and suits weren’t on trend with its predominantly older shopper base, and it simply stocked too many small sizes than was reasonable.The high street stalwart also didn’t have the right Christmas gifts, having gone down market just as consumers were seeking more expensive items, such as cashmere sweaters, and more experiential gifts such as spa days. Consequently, M&S’s like-for-like sales in clothing and home furnishings fell 1.7% in the third quarter, worse than the consensus of analysts’ expectations for a 0.8% decline.The performance is particularly disappointing given that many of M&S’s key competitors, including Debenhams Plc, John Lewis department stores, Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser and Philip Green’s Arcadia, are not firing on all cylinders. And the self-inflicted damage wasn’t confined to clothing. Although demand for M&S’s Christmas food was strong, it wasn’t as pronounced as it had hoped. It misread the market, buying too much festive fare to make sure it had enough available and wound up with far too many leftovers once the holidays came to an end. Consequently, gross margins are expected to be at the lower end of expectations.The shares fell as much as 11.6%. It isn’t the first time M&S has messed up at Christmas. In the past, it suffered from problems at a key distribution center at Castle Donington in central England. This year that facility held up, but the new round of blunders is worrying. In contrast, other groups that have been operating quietly without hiccups, such as Tesco Plc, Greggs Plc and discount home-furnishings retailer Dunelm Group Plc, delivered solid performances. It will also be worth watching out for Associated British Foods Plc, which should have benefited from Primark’s strong selection of gifts and party dresses in the run up to the holiday.With any Boris bounce after the U.K. election proving elusive, 2020 is set to remain tough. The lesson from this Christmas trading season is that to prosper, retailers need to stick to their knitting, and ensure that their own actions don’t make an already difficult backdrop even worse.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tesco sales inch higher over 'challenging' Christmas
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Tesco sales inch higher over 'challenging' Christmas

    Sales rose 0.4% in the UK and Ireland over the crucial Christmas trading period.

  • Here’s what I’d do about the fallen Sainsbury’s and Morrisons share prices
    Fool.co.uk

    Here’s what I’d do about the fallen Sainsbury’s and Morrisons share prices

    Christmas trading news is in from WM Morrison and J Sainsbury, and the share prices of both are down. Time to buy?

  • Sainsbury's sales fall over Christmas after Argos slump
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Sainsbury's sales fall over Christmas after Argos slump

    Sales at Sainsbury's fell by 0.7% over the crucial Christmas trading period, dragged down by a slump at Argos.

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  • The Boris Bounce Was More of a Christmas Turkey
    Bloomberg

    The Boris Bounce Was More of a Christmas Turkey

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Flashback to mid-December. British voters had just delivered a decisive national election victory to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives with two full weekends left before Christmas. Expectations were high that shoppers, giddy at the prospect of an end to political gridlock and repetitive threats of hard Brexit, would rush to the stores to make up for lost time in their holiday preparations and provide a much-needed boost for the country’s big supermarket chains.Anyone in the industry expecting a Boris bounce was sorely disappointed. Numbers out Tuesday show the U.K.’s largest food retailers suffered from subdued trading over the crucial Christmas and New Year’s period.Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc said consumers remained cautious, even if there was a bit of relief following the election result. Still, it wasn’t enough to make up for belt tightening. Although customers put the same amount of Christmas fare in their baskets, the number of times they shopped was marginally down, it said.It didn’t help that a price war broke out in the run up to the holidays, with the U.K. arms of the German discount chains Lidl and Aldi slashing prices. They drew shoppers with offers, such as bags of Christmas vegetables from as little as 15 pence. Morrison was offering three British vegetables for one pound, including a 2.5 kg bag of Maris Piper potatoes, described by Chief Executive Officer David Potts as a knock-out offer. But with intense competition from the discounters, perhaps it just wasn’t knock out enough. Where consumers treated themselves, it seems they opted for Aldi’s Specially Selected mince pies.Moderating food price inflation was also a hindrance. Morrison estimated that over the past couple of months food-price inflation was close to zero. When food prices are rising, the value of supermarkets’ sales is automatically boosted.Morrison may turn out to be one of the weakest performers. But trading across the whole of the U.K. food retail market was lackluster, according to industry research group Kantar. 2019 saw the lowest rate of growth over the Christmas period since 2015, it said.What oxygen there is in the market is feeding the discount supermarkets. Excluding online-only supermarket Ocado Group Plc, Lidl was the strongest performer in the 12 weeks to Dec. 29, with sales up by 10.3%, according to Kantar. Aldi also expanded its sales by 5.9%, a slower rate of growth than in the past, but still way ahead of the so-called big four supermarkets, Tesco, J Sainsbury Plc, Walmart Inc.’s U.K. arm Asda and Morrison.Sainsbury, which reports on Wednesday, may be more upbeat than Morrison, as its stronghold is in the southeast, where there is less competition from the discounters, and it tends to outperform at Christmas. Tesco may also do better, as it has been one of the stronger performers over the past few months, and that may continue.But it provides little comfort that all of the big four saw their sales fall in the 12 weeks to Dec. 29, compared with the year earlier, according to Kantar.With U.K. wage growth still ahead of inflation, and consumer confidence showing some improvement, Johnson’s resounding victory and the certainty it appeared to provide around Britain’s departure from the European Union was supposed to boost holiday shopping. Coming in mid-December, it probably came too late to make a noticeable impact on spending on clothing and gifts, but it should have had a positive impact on supermarket shopping. That clearly didn’t happen, and that is a worrying sign for grocers as they move into what is traditionally a lean time after the holidays. This year it could be even more painful, as many consumers move out of categories such as alcohol and meat, as trends like Dry January and Veganuary gain pace.As for Morrison, the company needs to be on its guard. When food prices are rising, all of the big four supermarkets can prosper at the same time. When there is little growth, grocers need to steal sales from a weaker rival. This time last year, that was looking like Sainsbury. Now Morrison looks vulnerable. It has a strong management team, robust balance sheet, more than 85% freehold property and a developing wholesale business. Even so, it needs to get its sales growth back on track, to make make sure it does not become 2020’s Christmas feast.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis 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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • What to Watch: Aston Martin sinks, Premier Oil deal and supermarket woes
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  • 'Unusually challenging' Christmas for supermarkets
    Yahoo Finance UK

    'Unusually challenging' Christmas for supermarkets

    Morrisons reported falling festive sales Tuesday and market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said all of the 'Big Four' lost market share over Christmas.

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  • Next Christmas sales beat forecasts thanks to cold November
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Next Christmas sales beat forecasts thanks to cold November

    The High Street retailer said a cold November helped spur sales ahead of its internal forecasts.

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  • Some Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) Shareholders Are Down 12%
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  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-Election takes edge off stocks with biggest British exposure

    Stocks most exposed to the British economy slipped on Wednesday on growing expectations of a close election outcome, while JD Sports dropped 10% after its top investor cut its stake. The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 ended flat as gains due to a weakening of the pound were offset by steep losses in oil firms after a surprise build-up of U.S. crude inventories.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-UK election: The retail gloom before the storm

    * Asia shares fall slightly as trade deadline looms Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. With bookies giving a 75% chance of a Tory majority emerging from Thursday's election you would expect shares in British supermarkets to be looking a bit more forthcoming at the moment. "In the event of a Conservative majority government, we would expect sterling to rally", Colm Harney, a UK equity analyst at Sarasin & Partners says, adding that "as a result, large-cap UK domestically-focused names (like Tesco!) would benefit".

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-UK midcaps slip on weak data; trade news cushions FTSE fall

    Britain's mid-cap index tumbled on Tuesday after lacklustre domestic growth data, while the FTSE 100 came off its earlier lows on a report that planned U.S. tariffs on China could be delayed. The bluechip index had slid as much as 1.3%, weighed down by a more than 6% drop in Ashtead after the industrial firm warned of challenging conditions in the UK.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-Britain's grocery sales lack Christmas spirit

    * Sales growth slows to 0.5% in 12 weeks to Dec. 1 - Kantar * Big four supermarkets all see sales declines * Discounters gain market share * Shares in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons fall (Adds detail) LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Sales growth at Britain's supermarkets slowed in the last quarter, industry data showed on Tuesday, as shoppers delayed their Christmas preparations ahead of a national election on Dec. 12. Market researcher Kantar said all of Britain's big four supermarket groups - market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's , Asda and Morrisons - recorded sales declines over the period and lost market share to the German-owned discounters Aldi and Lidl which are aggressively opening new stores.

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  • Tesco Should Take the Money and Run
    Bloomberg

    Tesco Should Take the Money and Run

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Selling Tesco Plc’s operations in Thailand and Malaysia for about 7 billion pounds ($9.2 billion) would be a nice parting present from outgoing Chief Executive Officer Dave Lewis to his successor Ken Murphy. But there could be a sting in the tail from such a lavish gift. Tesco would be even more focused on its home turf in the U.K., where it’s in a merciless battle with discounters from Germany.Tesco said on Sunday that it was carrying out a strategic review of the business, after receiving interest from potential buyers. Britain’s biggest supermarket is right to consider whether its remaining Asian operations might be worth more to a rival. Analysts at Bernstein estimate the Thai and Malay businesses could fetch between 6.5 billion pounds and 7.2 billion pounds. What’s more, with Bernstein estimating of typical transaction multiples in the region of about 13 times Ebitda, and Tesco currently trading on an enterprise value to Ebitda multiple of 7.6 times, then this unit isn’t being adequately reflected in Tesco’s valuation.The Asian business is a highly profitable one, with an underlying operating margin of 5.87% in the year to February 2019, close to twice that at both Tesco’s U.K. and central European divisions. Selling this arm would be a further retrenchment from Tesco’s international assault of the 1990s, and leave the company focused on its core retail operations in the U.K. as well as its bank in its home market. Its only overseas outpost would be central Europe, a business it would most likely love to sell if a buyer could be found.Tesco doesn’t need to offload assets to strengthen its balance sheet, in contrast to when it parted company with its South Korean business in 2015. It has been bringing down debt, enabling it to raise its dividend and generating hopes that it may soon begin returning cash to shareholders. A chunky price for the Thai and Malay units would make this even more likely. Indeed, the shares rose about 5% on Monday as investors salivated over a sizable buy-back or special dividend.It would also provide Murphy with a war chest to slash prices. He joins Tesco from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., where he spearheaded an expansion in China. However he has no direct experience of the cutthroat U.K. grocery sector.  Pricing is one area where Lewis could have done more. Although he made Tesco more competitive with its suite of cheaper exclusive brands, he could have tackled the problem earlier in his tenure.With the disposal proceeds, Murphy would be able to move quickly. He needs to. The U.K. arms of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to go from strength to strength, improving their premium offerings and moving into high-margin areas for the mainstream supermarkets, such as vegan food. Being able to more effectively fight the no-frills supermarkets would be helpful to the new CEO.He would also be able to put pressure on traditional supermarket rivals, such as as J Sainsbury Plc, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Walmart Inc.’s Asda, at a time when the grocery market is sluggish. Meanwhile, some of the proceeds could be used to beef up other areas of Tesco, such as its online operations and its cash and carry arm Booker.But prices on the shelves of its domestic supermarkets are the key driver of the retailer’s fortunes. And with an attractive Thai and Malay deal, it might just be able to get them right.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis 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.

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