After a tough year for the UK consumer, signs of weakening inflation and better wage growth offer hope for improved performance.
Tesco hopes for better trading as inflation eases
At Tesco’s first quarter (Q1) update in June, the management team's predictions for fiscal year 2024 were unchanged. They predicted a retail operating profit of £2.6 billion, a retail cash flow of £1.4 billion to £1.8 billion, and a profit from Tesco Bank between £130 million and £160 million.
This isn't surprising, considering the rising cost of living and lower increases in food prices can affect the company's earnings. As a result, Tesco's stock has gone down from its high point in May of 285 pence.
However there are some positive trends starting to appear. For example, the increase in food prices has noticeably slowed down. Even though this can limit Tesco's revenue growth, it could be advantageous due to a more important development - the growth of real wages among Tesco customers. Now that wages are increasing faster than inflation, people are finding themselves with more disposable income.
This will help trading, as customers are able to move back towards more expensive products and away from the value ranges. In addition, they may look to increase spending on non-essential items.
According to the latest grocery reports from Kantar, Tesco has shown more sales growth than its traditional competitors. The company's sales grew by 9.5% and 9.1% in August and September respectively. Meanwhile, cheaper retailers Aldi and Lidl have seen their sales growth slow down (although still higher than Tesco), with a decline to 16.6% in September from 20.5% in August.
How to trade Tesco’s first half results
Tesco, the United Kingdom-based multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, is set to release its first half (H1) 2023 results on 4 October 2023.
IG sentiment data shows that 95% of clients with open positions on the share (as of 3 October 2023) expect the price to rise over the near term, while 5% of clients expect the price to fall whereas trading activity over this week and month shows 61% of buys. Note that the week and month have only just begun, though, and that therefore this data needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Tesco technical outlook
The Tesco share price has greatly outperformed the FTSE 100 by rising around 14% year-to-date.
For further upside to be on the cards the September peak at 274.8p will need to be exceeded, something which might prove to be difficult following last week’s sell-off.
Tesco Weekly Chart
From a medium-term perspective, as long as the Tesco share price stays above its February-to-August lows and the 200-week simple moving average (SMA) at 246.4p to 240.40p on a weekly chart closing basis, the 2022-to-2023 uptrend remains intact.
Tesco Daily Chart
The 4% drop in the Tesco share price from its 274.8p September high has taken it to the 55-day simple moving average (SMA) at 259.5p, close to the 200-day SMA at 256.3p which may also offer support.
While the next lower September low at 254.1p holds, the recent Tesco share price decline can be viewed as nothing more than a correction of the August-to-September advance.
Were the 254.1p low to be slipped through, though, the technical picture would become more bearish and put the key support zone between 246.4p and 240.40p on the map.
For the bulls to become more optimistic a rise and daily chart close above Monday’s high at 267.8p would need to unfold. Only then could the September peak at 274.8p be back in focus.
If overcome, the 2022-to-2023 downtrend line at 279p would be back in sight.
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