USA: 'Outside the Box and in the Bag' -- Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown's Ziegler Launches Research Coverage of the U.S. Food Retailers
After outperforming the market in the five-year period through 1998, the group under-performed the S&P 500 during 1999, falling 22.1% versus a 17% gain in the index. This caused a contraction in the group's valuation multiple from a high of 28.4x in December 1998 to 17.2x today.
"We believe the group is favorably positioned for a recovery in valuation, which along with its potential for mid-teen EPS growth of around 14%, could provide exciting return to investors," said Ziegler.
Ziegler's favorable outlook for the U.S. grocery industry is based on four key themes:
1. The industry is defensive in nature, which should benefit the group given the current disruption in NASDAQ stocks and implications of a slowing economy;
2. Supermarkets are a major play on applied technology since information is as important as product in the industry. The application of modern technology to current business practices should lead to dramatic improvements in margin and could result in more rapid sales and earnings growth;
3. The consolidation movement continues despite significant consolidation at the end of the 1990s. However, the hiccups of integration are largely behind the food retailers and have given rise to powerful management expertise and skill-sets for application in future deals; and
4. The grocery retailers are in the early stages of building brand, which is reinforced through consolidation, private label programs and e-commerce initiatives. The use of these brands should enhance the retailers' ability to generate revenue.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown identifies the U.S. investment banking activities of DB Alex. Brown LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., which are indirect subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank AG. With over $869 billion in assets as of September 30, 1999 and approximately 90,000 employees, Deutsche Bank offers its clients unparalleled financial services throughout the world. It ranks among the leaders in asset management, capital markets, corporate finance, custody, cash management and private banking. Deutsche Bank is divided into five major business units: Global Corporates and Institutions, Global Technology and Services, Asset Management, Corporates and Real Estates and private and Retail Banking.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. maintains a net primary market in the common stock of Albertson's Inc., Costco Companies Inc., Delhaize America Inc., The Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., SuperValu Inc., Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. and Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Within the past three years, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. or its wholly owned subsidiary, DB Alex. Brown LLC, has managed or comanaged a public offering of The Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Albertson's Inc., Costco Companies Inc., Delhaize America Inc., The Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., SuperValu Inc., Wild Oats Markets, Inc., Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. and Whole Foods Market, Inc. stocks are optionable.
Costco Companies Inc., Delhaize America Inc., The Kroger Co. and Whole Foods Market have convertible issues outstanding.
An author of this comment has a long position in the common shares of Smart & Final.
Information herein is believed to be reliable and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Opinions, estimates, and projections constitute the company's judgment and are subject to change without notice. This publication is provided to you for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial instrument. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., DB Alex. Brown LLC., and their affiliates worldwide, may hold a position or act as market maker in the financial instruments of any issuer discussed herein or act as advisor or lender to such issuer. Transaction should be executed through a Deutsche Bank entity in the client's home jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by law. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., and DB Alex. Brown LLC., are members of NYSE and NASD. In the U.S. this report may be distributed either by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., or DB Alex. Brown LLC. Interested parties are advised to contact the U.S. entity they currently deal with, or the U.S. entity that has distributed this report to them.
Belgian food retailer Delhaize has announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Cash Fresh supermarket chain in Belgium, after unconditional approval by the Belgian antitrust authorities....
Supermarket company Delhaize says it has received approval from Belgian competition authorities have approved its plan to acquire retail chain Cash Fresh, reports the Dow Jones news agency....
Belgian retail group Delhaize has reported a 3.8% increase in operating profit at identical exchange rates for the first quarter of 2005....
Belgian supermarket Delhaize Group has today (Tuesday) announced that it will move its Brussels corporate support centre later this year....
Supermarket chain Safeway has reported net income of $131.3mfor the first quarter ended 26 March 2005 compared to $43.1m for the first quarter of 2004....
Grocery retailer and distributor Supervalu has higher pre-tax profits for the year ended 26 February 2005, despite lower sales....
Supermarket Safeway is today (Wednesday) opening a new $175m distribution centre in Auburn, Washington, the culmination of a 2 1/2 year project which it says solidifies its position in the north west....
Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket chain, has today (Tuesday) reported a 20.5% rise in pre-tax profits to £2.029bn (US$3.84bn) for the 52 weeks ended 26 February 2005....
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