Massmart: Earnings update excites stock briefly

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Massmart initially climbed yesterday after the wholesaler owned by Walmart said full-year headline earnings including foreign exchange gains rose as much as 35.5 percent despite a slowdown in local retail sales growth. The stock rallied as much as 4.1 percent after the Stock Exchange News Service release, but by 5pm the shares had given up gains and closed 1.3 percent lower at R113.50. Headline earnings a share in the 53 weeks to December 29 last year would rise to between R5.964 and R6.439 from R4.752 in the equivalent period a year earlier, Massmart said. Headline earnings before foreign exchange would, however, only rise by between 3 percent and 13 percent from last year’s R1.19 billion. Massmart said in August last year that it would focus on introducing new lines to drive growth. – Bloomberg

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