Here's how three City analysts reacted to Next's third quarter results

 
Helen Cahill
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Some analysts thought the response to Next's results was harsh (Source: Next)

Next's share price fell six per cent in morning trading after the retailer missed its sales expectations, and analysts have had mixed reactions.

Although the chain has certainly had a tough year, some City analysts feel the reaction has been a bit overdone.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said the trading update was "disappointing". Total sales growth came in at 1.3 per cent, below an expected 2.9 per cent.

"This is quite a change from the refreshingly upbeat August and September updates/results which saw guidance raised and a confidence-inspiring share buyback announced," said van Dulken.

Read more: Next's sales return to growth with strong online performance

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The stock market can be cruel at times. Next's third-quarter performance is actually better than what we've seen from the group so far this year, but with many expecting a much stronger showing, the shares still took a tumble.

"A particularly weak October means the group enters the all-important Christmas period with less momentum than it would have liked."

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said the market's reaction was a "bit harsh" and was probably based on Next's concerns about volatile trading and the weather.

“This does feed the bear case that Next has too many stores and faces too much online competition, meaning it could be a potential value trap for investors, in that it is a cheaply-valued company that could get cheaper, simply because earnings continue to disappoint, or even just fail to surprise on the upside," said Mould.

“But there is always the chance that too much pessimism creeps in. Analysts are already forecasting three straight years of flat-to-down profits and only three of the 25 brokers who follow Next are buyers of the stock – by contrast, nine rate the shares as a ‘sell.’"

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