Metro Inc. reported strong second-quarter financial results on April 21 as the food and pharmacy retailer showed resilience during the pandemic.
Metro (MRU) sales came in at C$4.19 billion in the second quarter, an increase of 5% from the same quarter a year earlier. In addition, same-store food sales increased by 5.5%, while same-store pharmacy sales decreased by 0.8%.
Meanwhile, 2Q 2021 profit was C$188.1 million (C$0.75 per share), compared to a profit of C$176.2 million (C$0.69 per share) in 2Q 2020. On an adjusted basis, Metro earned C$0.78 per share for the quarter, compared to adjusted earnings of C$0.72 per share a year ago. COVID-19 spending totaled C$29 million in 2Q. Metro gave C$8 million in gift cards to front-line employees.
The consensus among analysts was for an adjusted profit of C$0.76 per share and C$4.15 billion in revenue.
Metro’s President and CEO Eric La Flèche said, “As we are currently cycling the peak sales of the start of the pandemic last year, we are confident that our sales volume will remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels and we are well positioned to continue to deliver value to our customers and shareholders.”
Last week, National Bank financial analyst Vishal Shreedhar maintained a Hold rating on the stock and raised his price target to C$64.00 from C$61.00 (9.83% upside potential).
Shreedhar thinks the environment is favorable for Metro in the short term and that the company is well run. However, he believes that investors’ attractiveness towards the grocery sector will wane as the pandemic situation normalizes. He also notes that the stock valuation is higher than peers.
The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about Canada’s third-largest grocer with a Moderate Buy rating based on 2 Buys and 4 Holds. The average analyst price target of C$64.17 implies an upside potential of about 8.7% to current levels. Shares have jumped by about 5% over the past month. (See Metro Inc. stock analysis on TipRanks).
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