European stocks have opened lower on Friday following a significant week of inflation data and rate decisions. However, the UK’s retail sales rose a surprising 1.2% MoM, an improvement on forecasts of 0.2%.
As for stocks, Domino’s shares were upgraded on increasing app usage, Wetherspoon returned to profit, and Gym Group saw its shares downgraded on “bleak” profit outlook.
Domino’s Pizza (DOM)
- Domino’s Pizza was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
- Analyst Richard Taylor also raised its price target to 345p from 370p.
- Taylor stated that the company’s app usage is increasing and orders are growing.
Wetherspoon reported its preliminary results for the 26 weeks ending 29 January. “Having experienced a substantial improvement in sales and profits, compared to our most recent financial year, and with a strengthened balance sheet, compared both to last year and to the pre-pandemic period, the company is cautiously optimistic about further progress in the current financial year and in the years ahead” – Tim Martin, Chairman of J D Wetherspoon.
- Like-for-like sales grew 5% versus 2019, whilst revenue increased 3% to £916m.
- Profit before tax came in at £4.6m, down 90.9% from £50.3m.
- Its shares are up 7.72% after a return to profit.
Gym Group (GYM)
- Analyst Richard Taylor decided to downgrade Gym Group to Equal Weight from Overweight.
- Taylor added that the company’s high operational gearing means a small decline in members could exacerbate its balance sheet.
- Furthermore, the firm views Gym’s profit outlook as bleak.