Woolworths Shares Drop on Strong Q3 Sales Results
- Woolworths shares fall after recording a 0.4 per cent increase in Q3 sales.
- The company also recorded the cancellation of Darwin Dan Murphy's.
- Alternatively, Coles shares are trading 3.85 per cent higher.
Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW) has today revealed to the ASX their performance for the first quarter of 2021, outperforming industry competitor Coles yet still underwhelming investors. The company saw a 0.4 per cent increase in Group sales to $16.5 billion assisted by strong sales from BIG W, Endeavour Drinks and its Hotels.
Woolworths also announced today this it would not go ahead with the development of a Dan Murphy's at Darwin Airport, which was announced on the 16th of December 2020. A Woolworths Group Board has decided to not go ahead based upon the findings that they did not 'sufficiently address stakeholder concerns.' Concerns of stakeholder engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities were cited as the main concern.
On Wednesday the 28th of April, Coles Group (ASX: COL) released their own results release to the ASX. They announced that a same-store supermarket sale had fallen 6.4 per cent from January to March, falling greater than analyst consensus. As the second-largest food retailer in Australia, a more than 2 per cent fall in sales across their supermarket's sector also indicates the company may have lost market share during the period.
Following these subdued results, the company's share price dipped 1.2 per cent at the open but rallied strongly throughout the day ending 1.47 per cent higher at the close. In stark contrast, Woolworths's share opened 0.9 per cent lower following their announcement today and have fallen a further 3.1 per cent within the next 40 minutes of trading today. Either following yesterday's announcement or Woolworths results in today, Coles has continued its positive momentum, soaring 3.85 per cent higher to $16.48 per share.
Major Institutions covering both Coles and Woolworths maintain a positive outlook for both companies holding a consensus upside of 11 and 7.2 per cent upside based on current price targets. In particular, Morgan Stanley today gave Coles an overweight rating with a price target of $20.45 per share, presenting a 24 per cent upside from current levels. Morgan Stanley has clearly stated that the company's recent results reflect a 13 per cent increase in the corresponding prior period.
The company's more robust trajectory could be tied to their less diversified exposure to a wider range of retail interests like Woolworths. Additionally, Coles still has 17 per cent higher to move before it reaches its all-time highs, versus Woolworths having only 9 per cent. Coles also trades at a lower Price to Earnings ratio of 20 versus Woolworths, currently trading at 35. The Outlook for both company's and general trading conditions continues to normalize and remains positive as the Australian economy continues to strengthen and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.