A pandemic of a disease that causes severe respiratory issues is perhaps among the worst news for a cigarette company and BATS share price history seems to confirm that reality.
BAT share price history (YTD)
BATS share price history chart shows how the stock was regaining some lost territory after taking a heavy hit in October 2018 due to a potential ban on menthol cigarettes in the US and the company’s potential exposure to legal claims from vaping-related illnesses.
Back then, the price of the stock touched its lowest point YTD after closing October 22’s session at £2,648 and it is now again on course of collision due to fears that the coronavirus outbreak and its resulting respiratory issues will affect sales dramatically for the next quarters.
So far, shares have lost nearly 12.5 per cent since they touched their March 2020 peak of £3,244.5 and the trend is not showing any signs of a reversal on the horizon. In fact, during the latest session, the stock was traded in a range of £2,800-£2,585, closing the day at £2,585 after a massive sell-off during late trading hours.
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BAT stock outlook
British American Tobacco (BATS) shares are primarily traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the company currently has a market capitalisation of £59.30bn. Additionally, the stock is also traded on the New York Stock Exchange as BTI.
Furthermore, these are some of the most important stock market metrics for BAT (BATS):
- 1-Year Return: -10.38 per cent
- P/E Ratio: 10.35
- Price-to-Book: 0.93
- Price-to-Sales: 2.28
- Dividend: 8.14 per cent
BAT shares are currently trading at £2,585 which is the lowest price the stock has touched during the past 52 weeks, and it is also trading at a level that’s 26.2 per cent lower than its 52-week high of £3,507. Additionally, BAT shares are trading at a price that’s nearly 35 per cent lower than its 50-day Simple Moving Average (SMA).
It is important to note that BATS share price performance for different time frames is in the red zone right now, as the stock has accumulated a YTD return of -20.01 per cent, along with a one-year return of -13.79 per cent and a 3-month return of -13.83 per cent.
On the other hand, even though BATS share price history is clearly showing that the stock has been generating unsatisfactory results, analysts have set price targets that give investors a glimpse into what could happen during the next 12 months.
In this sense, analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance shared their next-12-month predictions, which feature an average target price of £3,825 and this price would result in a 32.4 per cent return at the stock’s current level.
BAT's Key Milestones (YTD)
British American Tobacco share price history YTD shows a trading range between £2,600 and £3,500 including various peaks and bottoms resulting from certain news that has affected the value of the stock over the course of the previous 12 months.
So far, these are some of the most important milestones according to BATS share price history:
- September 9, 2019 – Stock prices start to fall after news about an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses gain traction and start affecting the company’s valuation.
- October 10, 2019 – The outbreak gains momentum and governments are pushed to take action against Big Tobacco. As a result, BAT shares touch their lowest point YTD at £2,648.
- January 15, 2020 – BAT shares touch their highest level YTD at £3,507 after a three-month rally that started in November when the company showed strong results through its Second Half Pre-Close Trading Update report, which included positive news from its US operations.
- March 3, 2020 – The stock rebounds after a heavy sell-off that was possibly related to coronavirus fears, even though the company posted great FY 2019 results.
- March 6, 2020 – A potential coronavirus pandemic and the first indications that the US could be exposed to widespread contagion sets off alarms and sends the stock on a downward spiral that hasn’t been reversed ever since.
BAT most recent stock news
British American Tobacco's most recent news is mostly associated with the company’s strong financial performance as shown by its latest FY 2019 preliminary results released on February 27. These showed a 5.7 per cent increase in total revenue compared to 2018, along with significant growth of its new category revenue (32.4 per cent) and a 65 per cent dividend payout ratio.
The company has not yet commented on the potential impact that the coronavirus might have on its performance for 2020, even though the market seems to be concerned about how a widespread contagion could end up reducing sales across the board.
BAT stock: buy or sell?
Considering the company’s latest financial results, which show significant financial strength and positive performance from BAT’s key markets and segments, most analysts seem to be inclined to rate the stock as a buy. This is probably after assessing the current coronavirus crisis as a temporary situation that should not affect the value of the stock or the company’s fundamentals over the long term.
Out of 20 analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance in February, 85 per cent rated the stock as a buy and 15 per cent even rated it as a “strong buy”. This indicates their confidence that the market is probably overreacting to the impact that the virus and its associated respiratory issues could have on BAT’s sales worldwide.
Additionally, at its current levels, the stock is offering investors a generous 8.14 per cent dividend yield. This should be attractive enough to consider the stock as a potential buy, not just for the potential price appreciation of a possible undervaluation but also due to its fixed-income generation capacity.
BATS and BTI’s price history (its US counterpart) along with a comprehensive analysis of the business fundamentals seem to indicate that the current sell-off is mostly part of the large-scale market disruption caused by the coronavirus. Analysts share the view that there are strong indications that the stock could be undervalued considering the company’s strong financials and market outlook.
Additionally, considering the still reduced number of cases compared to the large number of consumers and markets that BAT participates in, the impact of the virus might not end up affecting sales as much as expected.
With contracts for difference, it does not matter whether your view of the BAT share price performance is positive or negative. You can always try to profit from the future price fluctuations, regardless of their direction. If you want to become a part of the market and monitor BAT share news before purchasing, join Capital.com where all major stocks are at your fingertips.