Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) could see its share price rise this week, in anticipation of good news when the company reports its quarterly sales results on Friday.

Woolworths’ share price has already gained 8.3% over the past month.

Woolworths share price

Source: Yahoo Finance

 

There is already speculation that the diversified retailer is likely to report positive same-store sales growth at its supermarket stores – something Woolworths hasn’t seen since March 2015. The company announced in August that it had seen same-store sales for the eight weeks up to 21 August 2016 rise by 0.3%. It may not be much, but at least something is moving in the right direction for the company.

Petrol

The company is also likely to provide an update on the potential sale of its petrol station business – with Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) the most likely winner – although other groups are no doubt interested.

Masters

We could also see an update on the discontinued Masters business. Woolworths and its partner in the hardware joint venture – Lowe’s – are in arbitration to settle their differences over the closing of the home improvement business. Masters could never really compete with the likes of Bunnings – owned by rival Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) and even struggled against Mitre 10 –owned by Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS). Bunnings is arguably the best business in Australia, consistently growing sales, earnings and market share.

Big W

Shareholders will also be keen to hear management’s view of the struggling Big W which had seen sales sink each quarter since June 2014 up until the fourth quarter 2016. Same-store sales also finally turned positive in June 2016, rising 1%, but overall sales fell 3.5% compared to the prior year.

Other divisions

New Zealand supermarkets, the Endeavour Drinks Group and Hotels are likely to have continued their growth, so probably won’t be much of an issue for shareholders.

Foolish takeaway

Despite the run-up over the past month, investors could see more gains ahead if there’s more positive news from Woolworths.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Woolworths and Wesfarmers. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.