Updates from Lloyds and Sainsbury's

Updated: 
Post-Christmas trading saw the FTSE 100 finish +0.85% higher last week at 6,750.8, its highest point since the start of November. Miners like Fresnillo, up +3.59% to 735p, were behind much of the surge, though financial player Hargreaves Lansdown was also up, +3.3% higher, at 1349p.

The Dow Jones ended Friday at 16,478.4, very slightly down (-0.01%) on the previous day's trading.
Not a huge amount of company news around today. The Telegraph reports that the Government may complete its privatisation of Lloyds in 2014 in 2014, selling off its remaining 33% chunk, currently worth £18.4bn.

"Post-results," one source told the paper, "is when a further institutional offering would make most sense. After that, the thinking is [that] an autumn sale, combining an institutional and a retail segment, is a realistic prospect."

However, Lloyds has yet to pay a dividend since its public bail-out. Lloyds shares have climbed 60% in the last 12 months and are currently hovering near the 80p mark (78.8p), valuing the operation at more than £56bn.

Next, two takeover targets - according to UBS. UBS says grocer Sainsbury's could be subject to increased takeover speculation. The retailer recently reclaimed the number two spot, stealing sales from both Morrisons and Tesco.

2013 was a solid sales year for Sainsbury's with its share price rising around 8% (compare that with a 5% slip for Tesco). In Q3 Sainsbury's profits expanded more than 9% to £433m.

However Sainsbury's shares, currently at 378p, are still a long way from their 590p glory days of six years ago. Like all main UK supermarkets, increased competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl is making life tough (not to mention Waitrose at the top end).

UBS also believes Burberry is also in the line of fire. The fashion giant has regularly been the focus of takeover gossip since the departure of boss Angela Ahrendts. The company recently saw six-month revenues surge past £1bn.

Up to 30 September, Burberry revenues climbed 17 per cent to £1.031bn compared to £883m a year ago. It recently saw its Buy rating reiterated by Berenberg Bank with a 1,700p target price.

Sanford Bernstein reaffirmed its rating on Burberry with a 1,630p rating; in November Canaccord Genuity issued an Outperform rating. Burberry's current share price is 1,496p.


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