June 19, 2019 / 7:33 PM / 5 months ago

BUZZ-Loblaw Cos: CFRA says food inflation to boost topline, ups PT

** Brokerage CFRA increases PT on Canadian food retailer Loblaw Cos Ltd by C$7 to C$77

** Brokerage raises 2019 EPS est by C$0.02 to C$4.37 and 2020 EPS est by C$0.04 to $4.84

** Cites data released on Wednesday by Statistics Canada that shows a steep rise in the Canadian inflation rate here

** Brokerage says surge in vegetable prices was largest in more than three years and attributed it to adverse weather conditions in certain areas, which limited supply

** “This data suggests a potential boost to Loblaw’s top line, especially within the Food Retail segment which makes up about 71% of net sales” - CFRA analyst

** Brokerage adds it favours company’s investments in data and technology, which it thinks will drive customer retention

** 8 of 11 brokerages rate the stock “buy”, 3 “hold”; Median PT C$74

** Stock up 15.1% YTD (Reporting By Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru)

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