Pandora surges to 10-month high on buyback news

Shares in Pandora (CSE:PNDORA) rose nearly 10% to their highest in 10 months on Wednesday after the Danish jeweler reported fourth-quarter profit ahead of expectations and announced a new stock buyback program.

The group said it will buy back up to 2.4 billion kroner in the first half of the year, with the intention of raising the total to 5B kroner over the full year “assuming no material deterioration in the macroeconomic climate.” It kept its ordinary dividend at 16 kroner, however.

The decision followed a solid final quarter for 2022 and what the group called a “solid” start to 2023 with a “good, broad-based” increase in like-for-like sales.

However, it noted that the first quarter figures are likely to be helped by a strong base effect, given the impact of the pandemic on its physical stores a year earlier, especially in China. That had led to new product launches coming slightly later in the year than usual.

Organic sales grew 4% on the year in the fourth quarter, ahead of the group’s own guidance, while its operating margin before interest and taxes rose sharply to 32.5%, well ahead of the average 25.5% for the year.

The company expects the EBIT margin to stay around 25% again this year, with organic sales growth roughly flat.

By 05:30 ET (10:30 GMT), Pandora stock in Copenhagen had retraced a little but was still holding on to the bulk of its gains, up 7.6% on the day, making it the second top performer in the STOXX 600 index.

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