IS IT time for investors to head back into Dixons? Britain's biggest electrical retailer will this week try to calm concerns about its long-term prospects.
Shares in the group have lost some 40% of their value in the past 12 months but have bounced back nearly 30% in the past three months as investors have begun to gain more confidence in Dixons' earnings stream.
Shares in the group first came under pressure in January after chief executive John Clare issued a profit warning and told investors that consumer confidence was waning. That forced him to rule out further overseas acquisitions and caused the share price to plummet 20%.
Concerns over the Competition Commission's investigation into the market for extended warranties - a key money-spinner for Dixons, making up some 50% of group profits - have also been overhanging the shares. It emerged last week that the commission's report, expected on July 1, may now be delayed due to the large number of responses it has had.
Nevertheless, Clare is this week expected to set out Dixons' long-term growth plans. The retailer is reportedly set to take its PC superstore format into Sweden later this year. Annual results should be in line with analysts' predictions, full-year pre-tax profits ranging from £285m to £300m, compared with £297m the year before.
The gloom that has surrounded Dixons for the past few months has sparked takeover speculation but despite some of the issues, the group has a solid brand name and franchise. Until the extended warranties issue is resolved it is unlikely that its shares will stage a major comeback, but it is a stock worth watching.
From Scotland On Sunday, full text here article written by SYLVIA PFEIFER