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Marks and Spencer has often found itself betwixt and between, as it covers both food and clothes as its core merchandise. The current management, led by Marc Bolland, is just over halfway through a three-year restructuring process, and the benefits in terms of changed focus are yet to become clear. The tail end of last week saw a number of institutions lower their targets for the company, and considering that Moody’s has just raised its outlook for European retailers that is disappointing.
IG client accounts have predominantly been long of the company over the last five years, and with a dividend yield of 3.54% coupled with a profits/earnings ratio of 16.56 it is not hard to see why. Institutional analysts have been less clear in their opinions of the company, with roughly equal numbers calling the company a ‘strong buy’, ‘buy’, ‘hold’ and ‘sell’. The current market capitalisation puts it on a par with the likes of Next, but its business model has much to learn from that company’s broader sales style, with better online sales.