So far in 2019, Superdry shares have made precious little progress in recovering the steep losses incurred during its profit warning-laden 2018. Opening at £4.71, Superdry shares currently finds themselves at £5.04, having struck a 3-month peak of £5.71 in early March.
Though it hasn’t moved much, it has already been a year full of drama. First, to set the scene, came February’s third quarter results. Blaming the ‘unseasonably warm weather’ – a BIG issue for Superdry given its reliance on winter wear like its jackets and hoodies – the company posted a 1.5% decline in group revenue to £269.3 million, with an even more severe 8.5% plunge in in-store sales. Then-CEO Euan Sutherland admitted that the retailer’s performance had ‘remained subdued’ during Q3, but that it is ‘pleased’ with the early progress made with its transformation programme.
However, that wasn’t enough for Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton, who had stepped down as CEO back in 2015 and left the company in 2018. Dunkerton effectively staged a coup at a shareholder meeting he had forced through at the start of April, securing a seat on the board thanks to a 51.15% winning vote.
This caused chairman Peter Bamford and CEO Sutherland to resign with immediate effect, the pair joined by CFO Ed Barker and head of the remuneration committee Penny Hughes. Completing a mad day of corporate sniping, Dunkerton took over as interim CEO, with ally Peter Williams – who was also voted onto the board by a margin of 51.15% – as chairman.
Thursday’s update, then, could be enlightening, as investors wait and see what plans Dunkerton has for his company.
Analysts are forecasting a 4.6% increase in fourth quarter revenue, which, at the very least, is a big improvement on Q3 (not that much, if any, of that can really be attributed to the new management).
Superdry shares have a consensus rating of ‘Hold’ alongside an average target price of £9.21.
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