London Evening Standard, market report column [London Evening Standard]
(Evening Standard (London, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 06--Supermarket giant Tesco's shares have shaken off the horse-meat scandal and were cantering up the benchmark index today.
Scribblers at Shore Capital and Credit Suisse were backing Tesco as its "self-improvement and corporate surgery" for the past two years is paying off.
Both analysts today became fans, rating the shares a buy.
Shore Capital's Clive Black and Darren Shirley think "stabilisation of the core chain appears to be underway."
There had been fears Tesco had lost its way as it pursued overseas expansion at the cost of the UK business. But Black now thinks "it has a strong asset base with which to pursue a well-considered, multi-channel strategy".
Not only that, shareholders should benefit from "more secure and sustainable pay-outs, and the commencement of a share buy-back programme."
Shore gives the shares a 367p price target while Credit Suisse ups its to 430p as the shares trotted up 8.4p to 380.7p.
Renewed chat that telecoms group Vodafone will resolve its partnership with US-based Verizon this year, helped it ring up a share gain yesterday and the stock continued to rise today. The shares dialled up a 11.2p rise to 179.7p _ taking them to the top of the leaderboard today.
Two stocks expected to be relegated to the FTSE 250 appear to have been saved by a surge in their share prices yesterday. Serco, up 4p to 634.75p, and John Wood Group, up 25.5p to 843.5p, are set to stay in the benchmark index with Intu Properties, static at 334p, and miner Kazakhmys, down 16.5p to 556.25p, likely to be relegated.
Engineering turnaround specialist Melrose Industries reported a 38 percent increase in full-year, pre-tax profit and the shares rose 14.2p to 274.2p.
The FTSE 100 rallied for a second day and added 12.44 points to 6444.39.
Christopher Beauchamp, market analyst at IG Group, said: "This has long been denounced as the 'suckers rally'. If you look hard enough there's still plenty to be worried about but there doesn't seem much that can stand in the way for now."
Purveyor of expensive handbags, AIM-listed Mulberry, as favoured by celebrities such as singer-songwriter Eliza Doolittle, pictured, saw its shares gain 8 percent amid rumours of takeover interest.However, a denial of interest in the brand from French luxury goods group Hermes today, sent the shares back and they were static at 1303.5p.
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