Expert share tips this week

Here’s your round up of how the experts view key stocks this week.

Hastings, Burberry and Greggs are among the companies under the spotlight this week.

1. Hastings – ADD

Symbol: HSTG.L

Index: FTSE 250

One year share price chart for Hastings. (Image: Google Finance)

The insurer reports its half year results early next month – with underwriting margins under pressure following a disappointing announcement on the Ogden discount rate.

Claims inflation continues to exceed rate increases despite rates finally gaining some momentum, says Andreas van Embden, an analyst at Peel Hunt.

“Longer term we remain positive about its prospects, particularly its ability to stay ahead of the competition given its technological and digital underwriting expertise,” he commented.

2. Burberry – HOLD

Symbol: BRBY.L

Index: FTSE 100

One year share price chart for Burberry. (Image: Google Finance)

The fashion house, which has been attempting to go increasingly upmarket, saw its shares rise on the back of a first quarter trading update.

Overall revenue increased to £498 million, with sales up 4%, which beat market expectations, according to Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre.

“Investors who have experienced a rather bumpy ride over the last couple of years will be encouraged by the update and the progress the group is making,” commented Spooner.

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3. Greggs – REDUCE

Symbol: GRG.L

Index: FTSE 250

One year share price chart for Greggs. (Image: Google Finance)

The high street bakery chain is expected to announce strong interim results at the end of July – and the market is fully aware of this.

Selling shares in well performing companies has to be considered carefully, but Jonathan Pritchard, an analyst at Peel Hunt, suggests investors should take profits.

“The shares are now the highest valued domestic bricks and mortar retailer by a mile,” said Pritchard.

“They are priced for perfection.”

4. Unilever – BUY

Symbol: ULVR.L

Index: FTSE 100

One year share price chart for Unilever. (Image: Google Finance)

The defensive appeal of everyday consumer brands in times of global uncertainty has been attractive for investors this year.

Shares in Unilever are currently trading near an all-time high, thanks to a decent hike in the dividend and positive comments around sales in emerging markets.

Alan Jope, a relatively new CEO at Unilever, may invest more in beauty and personal care.

The Share Centre expects to hear more when half year results are announced on Thursday.

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5. ASOS – HOLD

Symbol: ASC.L

Index: FTSE AIM 100

One year share price chart for ASOS. (Image: Google Finance)

Execution problems at the online fashion retailer’s US and European warehouses have led to another profit warning.

John Stevenson, an analyst at Peel Hunt, believes these self-inflicted operational issues will eventually create a buying opportunity.

“Short term we need clarity that the operational issues have been resolved without lasting damage to customer goodwill,” said Stevenson.

The information included in this article does not constitute regulated financial advice. You should seek out independent, professional financial advice before making an investment decision.

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