This will be the same bank that had a hand in almost all of the major crises and scandals tied to the 2008 global financial crisis. It has paid billions of dollars in penalties and settlements over the fraudulent sale of mortgage-backed securities, as well as over its role in the manipulation of benchmarks used to determine the interest rates on numerous financial products.
I disagree not based on the fundamentals on dividend and scope for recovery but because I just do not see it happening.
I have recently been a M&S customer 3 times.
Local store, Salisbury, not a big store and piss poor. Clothing is in pile it high and sell it cheap mode [ store smells of it] which is ok as a business model but others,my other half tells me, are much cheaper.
The food hall is crowded with product and having spent £20-£30 you have to queue to serve youself at checkout. Makes it easy to see why shopping at Aldi for half the price is more and more appealing.
Bought a duvet in Norwich as we happened to be in that city. Nothing wronf with the product but the store was empty to the extent that even the very customer focussed member of staff who served us commented on it.
Online. Orderd 2 pairs of shorts today in the optimistic expectation of some more fine weather this summer. Website is, by comparison to the market leader [ama... whats it], from the last century. Not about scale but about mindset
Not sure the culture that sees these issues, they have been around for years, and does nothing will be changed .
FYI about 2 tyears ago I got so pissed with queuing that I complained to store and chairman with the sad but expected platiudes that our surveys say customers very happy!!!!
I have always bought 95% of my clothes at M& S but several years ago they came across as arrogant toward customers. I recently "bought" a jacket in the sale, online, and paid £69 - two days later I had an email to say it was no longer available and my money would be refunded within 3 days !
I do like to have new clothes regularly but it has become pointless, e.g. chino's are the same as last years and the same as the last 5 or 6 years. Most of the clothes are poorer quality than years ago and available in less size combinations or options and very often limited sizes in stock. Their answer is always we can order them for you or you could try another store - not a way to encourage loyalty !
It also winds me up when you buy some trousers and there is a sticker with a price of £39 stuck over the top of the original price of £29.50
I think the attitude toward the customers that keep M & S in business is quite shocking.
Listen to the customer, give the quality that made M & S famous, stock all the sizes, sell more size options and sell at a value for money price.
Stop sending out "Please take time to complete our survey" - these surveys ask the questions that can only have limited answers and does not allow a customer to express any opinions that are not listed as an answer. Again pointless.
My opinion - before I looked at these numbers, I just assumed that MKS was a basket case, probably heading towards eventual failure. The figures & narrative paint a very much more positive picture.
Store closures (of loss-making sites) could increase profits considerably over the coming years. New management seem focused on delivering a serious reorganisation of the company. I'm amazed that MKS doesn't seem to do a proper Ecommerce food offering. All I could find was party food that you had to pre-order about 5 days early. How ridiculous! Why doesn't it do a proper groceries delivery service?
Most people seem to agree that MKS clothing is lamentable these days. So that's another potential area for improvement.
With all these problems, that MKS is still generating EBITDA of £1.25bn, says to me that there is a cracking business here, which is partially obscured by all its well-known problems.
I can scarcely believe myself saying this, but based on my review of these figures, I'm minded to go long of MKS shares - for the divis, and the recovery potential, plus the highly cash generative nature of the existing business.
Short covering? Here is the FCA latest list of disclosed short positions in MKS. It adds up to 12% of the whole company.
I reckon those shorters could well have got it wrong, and could become forced buyers, if they come to the same conclusion. That could create a very interesting short squeeze, and take the share price up considerably, as those shorts try to buy back 12% of the company. Just look at the short squeeze which happened at Ocado (LON:OCDO) recently.
I think MKS could have maybe 20-30% upside on it from the current price of 307p. The very generous divis, which are comfortably covered by cashflow, is also likely to attract buyers I think.
As usual please do your own research. I'd particularly like to hear from anyone who disagrees with me, and views MKS negatively, and your reasons why.
EDIT: I opened a long position on MKS the following day, after writing the above.
Programme tonight about Marks and Spencer @ 9pm (The trouble with M&S). Seems to be more high profile at the moment with newspaper comments (Times today also made comment on similar lines to D/Mail) which may mean that new management has not got its head in the sand. (sp 304p).
Leap of faith needed with M&S, says Hargreaves
Investors will need to take a leap of faith with Marks & Spencer (MKS) as the high street stalwart teeters on the edge of FTSE 100 relegation, says Hargreaves Lansdown.
The shares rose 3.7% to 302.7p yesterday as the embattled retailer held its dividend.
Annual profits fell 62% to £66.8 million, weighed down by a £321 million charge for store closures. Excluding this charge, profits hit £580.9 million, ahead of analysts forecasts of £573 million.
Analyst Laith Khalaf said M&S was struggling to compete with companies with a strong online presence and reducing high street footfall.
Although food used to be the bright spark for M&S, that has dimmed as it scales back the opening of more food outlets and has failed to jump on board the trend for home delivery.
M&S is currently restructuring its business to make it more relevant, less costly, and more profitable, said Khalaf. For investors, a dividend yield of over 6% is an attractive stopgap, but at the moment Steve Rowes promise to make M&S special again requires a leap of faith.
He added that the potential relegation from the FTSE 100 as online supermarket Ocado looks set to join paints a picture of the old economy and the new, passing each other in very different directions.
The results are history and typical of all "new brooms" they have thrown everything including the "kitchen sink"into last year costs. This augurs well for this year and i suspect there is still one substantive announcement just round the corner!
"Steve Rowe....touch of the"Barrow Boy " but knows what needs to be done"
And so he should, Genie, having worked up from the shop floor. If there's a negative, it's that, apart from a short spell at Topshop, he's been with them since he was 15 (Saturday job), so I read, but that's not necessarily a negative. I won't hold Croydon against him - Lewisham meself, he said sniffingly.
M & S is I believe the most shorted stock in the FTSE 100 and being of the old school of investors who like to back a good company through its ups and downs giving it my support by my investment, it is so nice to see these short sellers mostly hedge funds who through the shear weight of the money they can use to short a stock to force the price down now running for the hills crying over their lost bonuses.
Professional ,focussed and recognition of need for change in all areas. New team established to give greater accountability and recognition of weaknesses.
Archie Norman...iron fist in velvet glove.
Steve Rowe....touch of the"Barrow Boy " but knows what needs to be done
This team are the most professioinal I have seen in the last decade and if they can't turn things around sell to the highest bidder!
"LSE:MKS:Marks and Spencer has admitted defeat on its recent strategy and the proposed revamp of a business whose brand may yet become its saving grace has been well received by investors in early trade.An overhaul of the entire business is ..."
I mean, there are reasons that they're not lumped in with food, but they're so different to each other. Ok, distribution facilities could be common.
I would love to see a breakdown of revenue and profit for each section. Could be that they're each contributing well to the whole - I'd just like to see how they each contribute.
Other than that, SR has done well with International; they maybe need to give up on going alone on Food; no guarantees on divi looking ahead, but then if top brass remain in place, so might divi; do the Directors actually get out and about to the stores - in detail?
LONDON (Alliance News) - Venerable UK retailer Marks & Spencer said on Wednesday that profit slumped in its recently ended financial year, as it works to rectify "a number of structural issues" at the company.
Revenue rose 0.7% to GBP10.70 billion for the year to March 31, up from GBP10.62 billion last year, but pretax profit dropped 62% to GBP66.8 million from GBP176.4 million.
One-off costs came in at GBP514.1 million for the year, up from GBP437.4 million last year. This includes GBP321.1 million related to the UK store estate, up from GBP51.6 million the year before - as it accelerated its "transformation plans" - with a GBP15.5 million cost related to its IT restructure.
Adjusted pretax profit still fell 5.4% to GBP580.9 million, hit by a decrease in its Food gross margin, which fell "more than expected" by 140 basis points during the year.
Food revenue grew 3.9% - though like-for-like revenue slipped just 0.3% - while Clothing & Home revenue fell 1.4% and was down 1.9% on a like-for-like basis. Clothing & Home gross margin was up 50 basis points year-on-year, in line with expectations, and full-price sales steady.
UK costs were up 1.8% in the period due to costs relating to new space, inflation and channel shift. This was partially offset by efficiencies and lower incentive costs.
"There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these. The new organisation will largely be in place by July and the team is now tackling transforming our culture to make M&S a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business," said Chief Executive Steve Rowe.
The food, clothing and homewares retailer maintained its full-year dividend at 18.7 pence.
M&S said that although online sales are growing, its online capability is "behind the best of our competitors and our website is too slow".
Under a section of its statement titled "Facing Facts", the retailer continued: "Our fulfilment centre at Castle Donington has struggled to cope with peak demand and some of our systems are dated. In both businesses we need to revitalise our ranges and reassert our reputation for value for money."
Looking ahead for its recently-commenced year, M&S said it expects Clothing & Home gross margin to be flat to up to 50 basis points higher, "with the first half of the year adversely affected by currency and sale timing". Food gross margin is expected to decrease by as much as 50 basis points.
UK costs are set to decrease by up to 1%, while capital expenditure is expected to total between GBP350 million to GBP400 million.
Investor reacted well to the company's reality check. The stock was up 5.4% at the London open.
"It's good to see someone at the helm who accepts that M&S have lost the plot"
Rowe has been there a good while now -- granted Archie is new, but yes he's facing up to reality I guess.
Rowe was on ITV this morning and it kept drifting away during the interview to ask high st shoppers about there views.
It ranged from - lovely place to visit but I just can't afford the stuff, to the clothes looks so dated I only buy the school uniforms.
Long way to go yet it seems.
It's all about the divi for a while yet I think, and that's hopefully sustainable.
It's good to see someone at the helm who accepts that M&S have lost the plot and is setting out on a radical restructuring. It will be a long haul and there will be a lot of blood on the floor for the next few years (not just for M&S but the rest of the high street too) but this is no time for faint hearts.
Important message from the Financial Conduct Authority:
Posting inside information that is not public knowledge, or information that is false or misleading, may constitute market abuse.
This could lead to an unlimited fine and up to seven years in prison.
If you have any information, concerns or queries about market abuse, click here.
The content of the messages posted represents the opinions of the author, and does not represent the opinions of Interactive Investor Trading Limited or its affiliates and has not been approved or issued by Interactive Investor Trading Limited.
You should be aware that the other participants of the above discussion group are strangers to you and may make statements which may be misleading, deceptive or wrong.
Please remember that the value of investments or income from them may go down as well as up and that the past performance of an investment is not a guide to its performance in the future.
The discussion boards on this site are intended to be an information sharing forum and is not intended to address your particular requirements.
Whilst information provided on them can help with your investment research you need to consider carefully whether you should make (or refraining from making) investment or other decisions based on what you see without doing further research on investments you are interested in.
Participating in this forum cannot be a substitute for obtaining advice from an appropriate expert independent adviser who takes into account your circumstances and specific investment needs in selected investments that are appropriate for you.