Harvey Norman shares bounce on analyst upgrade

HarveyNorman-exteriorHarvey Norman’s battered shares have bounced after JPMorgan said their steep recent decline has made them better value to investors.

JPMorgan analysts noted that Harvey Norman shares have fallen by more than 20 per cent since the start of the year, and upgraded their rating from underweight to neutral.

But the recommendation does not mean a bullish outlook for a company that has been hit by a disappointing first-half result, a reduced interim dividend and millions of dollars of writedowns.

“There is an absence of positive catalysts and earnings risk is skewed to the downside, but we believe valuation support is now emerging at this share price, such that our previous underweight rating cannot be justified,” JP Morgan analyst Shaun Cousins said.

Harvey Norman’s shares hit a session high of $3.59 early on Wednesday.

By 1455 AEST, Harvey Norman had given back some of those gains but was still 8.5 cents, or 2.5 per cent, higher at $3.435.

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