City File: Sell on bounce

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The Independent Online
THE market is in no mood to worry about any dividend cut Sears may announce next week. The owner of Selfridges and British Shoe is one of the prime beneficiaries of the glow the market is casting over the whole retail sector.

The market is also cheered by the way the Fayeds' 10.6 per cent stake was absorbed without a hiccup and how swiftly Liam Strong, the new chief executive, has moved to reorganise the sprawl that was British Shoe.

But more cynical observers are worried that next week's results, however bad, will be taken as a buy signal. 'There are too many balls to juggle at once,' says John Richards of NatWest Securities, pointing at likely poor performances from two of Sears' market leaders - Olympus (leisure wear) and Adams (kiddietogs). Hence the conclusion by Tony Shiret of BZW: 'There's no real reason for a 20 per cent premium on the market.' A classic case of sell if there's a bounce on the results.

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