Tesco’s share price is down 15% this year. Is now the time to buy the stock?

first_img Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. 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. 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 Edward Sheldon has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Tesco. 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. Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now! Image source: Getty Images Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Edward Sheldon, CFAcenter_img Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Enter Your Email Address Edward Sheldon, CFA | Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 | More on: TSCO Tesco’s share price is down 15% this year. Is now the time to buy the stock? Tesco (LSE: TSCO) shares have produced disappointing returns for investors in 2020. Year-to-date, Tesco’s share price has fallen around 15%. Is now a good time to buy its shares, given they’re well below their 52-week highs? Let’s take a look at the investment case.Tesco’s sales have surged Tesco’s latest trading statement, issued in late June, was definitely encouraging. For the 13-week period ending 30 May, total group sales were up 8% at constant rates, while sales in the UK and ROI were up 9.2%. Growth was most marked in the online channel, with sales leaping 48.5% for the quarter as a whole.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…This level of sales growth is certainly impressive. However, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s sustainable. You see, while the UK was on lockdown, Britons spent record amounts at supermarkets, stockpiling their cupboards, fridges, and freezers full of food and drink. However, now the lockdown is easing, supermarket spending is easing off.“Consumers are slowly resuming their pre-Covid routines and shopping habits,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, earlier this week. “This meant year-on-year supermarket sales growth decelerated in the most recent four weeks,” he added.Lack of profit growth It’s also worth pointing out that, while Tesco’s sales rose significantly over the first quarter, so did its costs. Not only did Tesco face extra payroll costs (it recruited an extra 47,000 temporary employees to meet increased demand associated with Covid-19), but it also incurred extra costs in areas such as distribution and the provision of safety equipment for staff. The company said it expects incremental costs for the UK for the full year will be around £840m.The end result is that Tesco expects retail operating profit in the current year to be at a similar level to 2019/20 on a continuing operations basis (assuming a continued easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK). The lack of growth in operating profit is a little bit disappointing, in my view.Competition is highLooking beyond the recent news, one thing that still concerns me about Tesco shares is the level of competition within the UK supermarket industry. Not only does Tesco face a high level of competition from the larger players in the industry, such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Asda, but it also faces competition from smaller players, such as Aldi, Lidl, and now Ocado.In my view, Tesco doesn’t have a strong competitive advantage anymore. As a result, it could continue to lose market share. This adds risk to the investment case.Is Tesco’s share price a bargain?Turning to the valuation, Tesco shares currently trade on a forward-looking P/E ratio of about 15.6. That’s not overly expensive. However, I don’t think it’s a bargain either, given the lack of growth and risks associated with the high level of competition.So, are Tesco shares worth buying? Personally, I’d give them a miss. All things considered, I think there are better stocks to buy right now.last_img read more