ANALYST VIEWS: ARE THE GOOD TIMES BACK FOR M&S?

FREDDIE GEORGE | SEYMOUR PIERCE

We are reiterating our ‘buy’ recommendation on the stock. First, the trading update does indeed indicate that general merchandise now has real momentum … while M&S’s food sales have been recovering, benefiting from the introduction of a branded range.

RICHARD HUNTER | HARGREAVES LANSDOWN

Management have again been careful to play down expectations in the hope of outperforming in the medium term. For the moment, though, the general market view of the shares as a ‘hold’ is unlikely to come under much pressure in either direction.

SAM HART | CHARLES STANLEY

We believe M&S can continue to make steady progress. Improving sales trends in both General Merchandise and Food are encouraging and must largely be attributed to internal actions. Food gross margin has come under pressure but we would expect margin to stabilise around current levels.