3 Numbers To Consider Before Buying Tesco Plc

There are always plenty of numbers to evaluate when weighing up whether to buy a particular share.

Today I’m going to quickly review three figures for anyone thinking about investing in Tesco (LSE: TSCO) (NASDAQOTH: TSCDY.US).

Indeed, some of these may surprise you.

1.  £24.5 billion

That’s the size of the grocery market that Tesco’s competing in. The behemoth grocer is doing something right, as Tesco currently has a whopping 30% market share.

But still, Tesco faces a lot of competition from the rest of the ‘big four’ — Asda (owned by Wal-mart), J Sainsbury and Wm. Morrison Supermarkets.

The market has been split into two with private players Waitrose and Aldi seeing the strongest growth lately. Sainsbury’s has been the only grocer in the ‘big four’ to see its market share grow.

The UK market is saturated, so investors watching Tesco should be more interested in its ability to grab market share outside the UK – where Tesco currently drives 29% of its profits.

There’s room for growth there.

2. £3.52 (and £3.48)

Those are the prices Warren Buffett paid in his latest purchase of Tesco shares. The legendary investor swooped in to build out his Tesco position after the company’s profit warning — and subsequent share-price drop — in January 2012.

The opportunistic Buffett had held Tesco shares for years and had been quoted in late 2011 as saying: “If the price came down some on Tesco I’d buy some more of that.”

A man of his word.  

Today, Buffett owns 3.5% of Tesco’s outstanding shares. Lately the shares have hovered around £3.72.

3. 28

Income investors take note!

Twenty-eight is the number of consecutive years in which Tesco has not only paid, but raised, its dividend.

In bull and bear markets, Tesco has proven its commitment to return money to shareholders in the form of dividends, so if you’re after consistent and growing dividends, Tesco should tick that box.

Tesco shares currently yield a respectable 4.1%.

What next?

So there you go, three numbers that may or may not have some bearing on whether you buy shares in Tesco.

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> Both Jill and The Motley Fool own shares in Tesco.