ANALYST VIEWS: HOW SERIOUS IS THE SALES BLOW AT HRG?

KEITH BOWMAN | HARGREAVES LANSDOWN
For now, investor concern continues to be fully vindicated. Profits have missed already lowered forecasts, with Argos suffering. The company remains in a very difficult place, with downbeat management outlook comments likely to foster further profit downgrades. Consensus opinion is a sell.

PHILIP DORGAN | PANMURE GORDON
We find it increasingly difficult to see a quick path to recovery for Argos. In the absence of volume growth and without a significant scaling back in store numbers and a reappraisal of the role of the catalogue, we think that margins will continue to be squeezed at Argos.

FREDDIE GEORGE | SEYMOUR PIERCE
We cut our full-year profits forecast from £135m to £125m. We continue to have significant reservations on the long-term outlook for both the Argos and Homebase businesses. But we say 'hold' the stock on the basis that there is likelihood of a restructuring programme being put in place over the next year.