Woolworths made a record all-time high and record-closing high on Thursday. It also registered its second highest volume trade of the year, double that of 30-day average on no news; 4.97 million shares were traded and option settlement is today, so more will go through. Woodside Petroleum has closed at $40 for the first time since July 2011, as its production report came in ahead of expectations; this puts the Shell overhang as a real possibility. With the corporate actions from the weekend, anything is possible here and Shell could either sell out on-market or to a new major holder. (VIEW LINK)
UBS upgraded Woolworths to a buy rating on Thursday with a price target of $39.20. Some of the points they noted were lifting sales on a square meterage basis, new store roll outs and improving margins at existing stores (through volume and cost outs). Interestingly UBS see inflation kicking in leading to increased food prices in the years ahead - this is a god thing for food retailers (not so great for the consumer).