JEAN ROCHE PANMURE GORDON
We anticipated a weak performance from Debenhams shares [yesterday], as a better than expected top line is likely to be more than overshadowed by weak gross margins...This shows that Debenhams is suffering from the extremely promotional backdrop we saw pre-Christmas and are continuing to see.
BETHANY HOCKING INVESTEC
The Christmas statement reports very good sales, but updated guidance on gross margin and costs may see consensus profit before tax move down five to six per cent...With trading momentum clearly with the company, we may not put through the entirety of the implied downgrade.
KATE CALVERT SEYMOUR PIERCE
We believe this update is not good enough to support the recent rally in the share price. Debenhams’ shares had a fantastic 2012...However, we downgraded our recommendation to reduce pre-Christmas as we felt the scale of the re-rating was not justified by its recent results, fundamentals and outlook.