The retail sector is making a big comeback!
We are likely to see a further re-rating of the consumer discretionary sector as the government’s three-step plan to loosen social restrictions over the coming months is implemented
One standout retailer
But it’s the Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) that is leading the charge with shares in the electrical and home furniture franchisor surging 6.7% to $3.03 yesterday.
Harvey Norman is getting an extra boost after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy” on Friday, and the broker is forecasting further share price gains for the retail group.
“Industry feedback across listed and unlisted peers suggests sales trends and, to a lesser extent, profit conditions are proving more resilient across the sector than expected only a matter of months ago,” said Goldman Sachs.
“Despite the better than expected industry trends, HVN’s share price has not recovered from the March sell off, substantially underperforming the market by 15.5% since a recent high on February 19th.”
Improved outlook for retail
While it’s near impossible for anyone to confidently predict the outlook for FY21, Australia managed to contain the coronavirus outbreak better than many had feared.
The easing headwinds buffeting retailers prompted Goldman Sachs to upgrade its forecasts for the sector, and it won’t be the only broker taking a more favourable view to retail stocks.
Is Harvey Norman cheap?
“We forecast HVN is trading at 11.7x FY21 PE (50% discount to ASX200 Industrials), despite FY21 EPS being 16% below FY19,” said Goldman Sachs.
“On a property adjusted basis, we estimate HVN’s retail operations are trading at 3.0x PE in FY21.”
Goldman Sachs lifted its 12-month price target on Harvey Norman to $3.85 from $3.45 a share.
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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.