PARIS – Carrefour shares opened 2.8% higher on Thursday as investors cheered record cash generation in 2021 and a confident outlook for 2022, reflected in a new share buyback plan of 750 million euros ($852 million).
“Carrefour’s finals confirmed the group’s newfound resilience, ongoing progress in French recovery and impressive free cash flow. Prospects for 2022 remain upbeat, consistent with a consensus for 20% growth in earnings,” wrote analysts at investment bank Jefferies.
“Front-footed results and outlook should reassure investors on the strong backstop provided by Carrefour’s fundamentals at a time when the Auchan (tie-up) noise will settle down as we enter the (French) political campaigning phase,” added Jefferies.
Carrefour said on Wednesday that it looked to 2022 with confidence after Europe’s largest food retailer delivered record free cash flow of 1.23 billion euros and a 7.7% rise in operating profit for 2021.
($1 = 0.8802 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)