Wynnstay Group (LSE: WYN) has found itself firmly on the defensive in recent weeks, the stock shedding 12% of its value since the middle of May to current levels.
And appetite for the agricultural product manufacturer flatlined in Wednesday trading following the release of troubling half-year financials.
Wynnstay advised that revenues rose 6% in the six months to April, to £205.32m. The firm advised that “results benefitted from greater demand for agricultural inputs over the winter period but were affected by continued subdued trading at pet products business, Just for Pets.”
However, the trading troubles at its petcare department forced pre-tax profits to slump to £0.13m from £4.08m in the corresponding period last year. Wynnstay has swallowed a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of £3.94m, it announced today.
And any recovery at Wynnstay could remain elusive for some time yet.
The company declared that “we are encouraged by the improvement in farmgate prices for our farmer customers but believe that the rate of recovery for the agricultural supply sector will remain tempered the rate of recovery for the agricultural supply sector will remain tempered.”
On top of this, the increasingly-difficult outlook for Britain’s retail sector is likely to see difficulties at Just for Pets endure. The company confirmed today that it is “restructuring the operations and reviewing our options for the business.”
The City expects earnings to rise 5% in the year to October 2017, and an additional 4% rise is anticipated for fiscal 2018.
But given the broad pressures Wynnstay continues to face, I believe these forecasts could be subject to harsh downgrades in the not-too-distant future. And a forward P/E ratio of 18.1 times — sailing above the widely-considered value benchmark of 15 times or below — fails to reflect the possibility of this scenario by some distance and could lead to additional share price problems.
Kingfisher’s (LSE: KGF) share price has also endured much trouble in recent weeks, the stock dipping 18% during the past month and visiting two-and-a-half-year troughs around 300p just today.
Market confidence has shaken after Kingfisher’s shocking update last month in which it advised that like-for-like sales across the group ducked 0.6% between February and April, flipping from the 2.3% rise printed in the 12 months to January.
While the popularity of its Screwfix stores helped underlying sales in the UK and Ireland to rise 3.5%, Kingfisher saw like-for-like sales at its French stores drop 5.5% in the period as the Gallic home improvement market continued to flounder.
But this was not the B&Q owner’s only problem, Kingfisher warning that its transformation drive was creating “some business disruption given the volume of change, as we clear old ranges, re-merchandise new ranges and continue the rollout of our unified IT platform.”
The number crunchers have been busy marking down their earnings projections for Kingfisher in recent months, and a 5% earnings dip is currently expected for the year to January 2018. Still, the City believes the retailer has what it takes to roar back into growth thereafter, and a 15% recovery is predicted for fiscal 2019.
I am far from convinced however, with trading troubles intensifying on both sides of the English Channel. And I expect Kingfisher’s painful share price slide to worsen still further.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.