E-mart lacks short-term momentum as the business environment is deteriorating, said KB Investment and Securities on Feb. 25 lowering the target price to 235,000 won (US$209.71) from 250,000 won while maintaining a “buy” recommendation.
Its net revenue in the fourth quarter last year rose 7 percent to 4.23 trillion won and satisfied market expectations but operating profit plunged 59 percent to 61.4 billion won. Offline discounters’ underperformance was the main reason for the earnings shock. Decline in number of customers and waning revenue from non-food products continue while fresh food sector has to deal with heightening online competition online, said analyst Park Sin-ae.
Net revenue this year, though, will increase 13 percent from last year to 19.22 trillion won and operating profit by 15 percent to 531.2 billion won. Growth in specialty stores, traders and online mall as well as rise in stake will boost its revenue, she forecast, adding that streamlining branches, cost-cutting and selective investment will improve its operating profit.
By Hwang You-mee (firstname.lastname@example.org)