It's been a rough month for many ASX 200 shares over October. But one of the hardest hit blue chips has undoubtedly been ASX consumer staples giant and bottle shop operator Endeavour Group Ltd (ASX: EDV). Over October thus far, Endeavour shares have lost a horrid 4.36%.
And that's including the enthusiastic recovery we've seen so far this Tuesday. If taken at yesterday's close of $4.91, Endeavour's losses stretch to more than 6.8%. But today, Endeavour has gained a rosy 2.65% and is back over $5 a share, going for $5.04 at the time of writing.
That handily outperforms the ASX 200, which is up a far tamer 0.32% at present.
So what has started this party over at Endeavour's house today?
Why is this company smashing the ASX 200 today?
Well, it could be the company's annual general meeting (AGM). Yep, Endeavour is hosting its AGM this Tuesday. The company has been embroiled in a bit of a saga in recent months, thanks to the sharp criticism of Endeavour's current management by influential shareholder Bruce Mathieson. Mathieson has criticised the company's strategic direction under chair Peter Hearl.
As we reported earlier this month, Mathieson has gone on the record with comments like this:
The share price is trading again near all-time lows which is unacceptable. When is someone in the company going to smash the glass and hit the emergency button?
In today's AGM, chair Peter Hearl attempted to draw a line under the dispute, stating in the chairman's address:
While we are focused on our share price performance, we prioritise long term value creation. Many of the observations of The Bruce Mathieson Group, and some others, are reflected in our strategic focus going forward — including the importance of sales momentum in our retail businesses, cost discipline across the Group, lifting capital returns in hotels, and more transparency in relation to capital management — however, it is more helpful for this debate to be grounded in fact.
While we continue to seek a constructive resolution to the current shareholder campaign, we are focused on delivering value for all shareholders, and with this in mind believe that while the Bruce Mathieson Group should have appropriate representation at the Board, this right does not extend to disproportionate control.
So perhaps this is assuaging investor's concerns about the company.
Another important factor to mention is the recent love Endeavour has received from ASX brokers. As we covered just this morning, Endeavour has been on the receiving end of not one, not two, but three rating upgrades from various ASX brokers.
ASX brokers name the Endeavour share price as a buy
As we covered earlier, broker CSLA has upgraded its rating on Endeavour to 'accumulate', with a 12-month share price target of $5.25.
JP Morgan was even more enthusiastic, giving the company a 'buy' rating with a share price target of $5.90.
Finally, Jeffries also raised Endeavour to a 'buy', with a share price target of $6.50. That would see a near-20% upside for investors on today's pricing if realised.
These rating upgrades for Endeavour take into account the trading update the company released last week. This revealed that total sales for the 14 weeks to 1 October were up 2.1% year on year.
So perhaps these broker upgrades are also inspiring investors to pile back into Endeavour shares today. Whatever the reason, no doubt Endeavour's shareholders appreciate this Tuesday's events thus far.