The Motley Fool

I was right about the Next share price! Here’s what I’d do now

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

A model showing Next's summer ranges
Image: Next

In the middle of March last year, as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, I highlighted the Next (LSE: NXT) share price as undervalued.

At the time, I explained that Next’s heavy investments in its online offering should help the business cope when brick-and-mortar stores are closed. I also highlighted that the group’s strong balance sheet should help it “weather the storm.” 

One Killer Stock For The Cybersecurity Surge

Cybersecurity is surging, with experts predicting that the cybersecurity market will reach US$366 billion by 2028more than double what it is today!

And with that kind of growth, this North American company stands to be the biggest winner.

Because their patented “self-repairing” technology is changing the cybersecurity landscape as we know it…

We think it has the potential to become the next famous tech success story. In fact, we think it could become as big… or even BIGGER than Shopify.

Click here to see how you can uncover the name of this North American stock that’s taking over Silicon Valley, one device at a time…

The company’s performance over the past 12 months has panned out just as I predicted. Even though the group was forced to close its stores, its online business has boomed. As a result, the Next share price has taken off. Since I covered the firm on 13 March last year, the stock is up 86%. 

I think the company is only just getting started. 

Next share price outlook 

Next has outperformed all expectations over the past 12 months. And it continues to do so.

According to a trading statement for 13 weeks to 1 May, the company’s sales in this period were down just 1.5%, compared to the same period in 2019. This is incredibly impressive, considering the UK was under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns for the majority of this period. Previously, management was expecting sales to fall 10% over the 13 weeks.

As a result of this better-than-expected performance, management now expects full-year profit before tax to be £20m higher than the previous projection of £720m. However, for the entire year, management has not raised expectations. Nevertheless, it is still expecting a 3% increase overall against 2019 figures.

These numbers mirror how the company has performed over the past 12 months. It has consistently set and beaten expectations. But, in my opinion, it’s improbable this trend will continue.

The economy has performed better than many analysts expected throughout the coronavirus crisis, and the Next share price has benefitted. Still, from now on, it seems likely the recovery will slow. This suggests Next’s sales growth will fall back. 

Outlook and risk 

Over the next five years, I think the company will build on its position in the UK retail market. This is because it has been (and still is) investing heavily to build out its online retail capacity for both its own brands and other retailers during the past few years. I think these investments will underpin growth for years to come. 

That said, the retail industry can be viciously competitive. Next won’t be immune to the trends in the industry, and it needs to keep investing to stay ahead. This is always going to be the biggest challenge facing the company. Other risks include the potential for higher costs and excessive spending on growth without suitable returns. 

Despite these risks and challenges, I think the future is bright for the Next share price. I reckon it has only reinforced its position in the retail market over the past 12 months. The company should be able to capitalise on this as we advance. 

One Killer Stock For The Cybersecurity Surge

Cybersecurity is surging, with experts predicting that the cybersecurity market will reach US$366 billion by 2028more than double what it is today!

And with that kind of growth, this North American company stands to be the biggest winner.

Because their patented “self-repairing” technology is changing the cybersecurity landscape as we know it…

We think it has the potential to become the next famous tech success story.

In fact, we think it could become as big… or even BIGGER than Shopify.

Click here to see how you can uncover the name of this North American stock that’s taking over Silicon Valley, one device at a time…

Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Next. 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.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.