Shares in high street and online fashion retailer Next jumped in London on Wednesday after the company reported a rise in full-year group sales and updated its profit guidance.
In early trade on the London Stock Exchange, Next shares bounced 9.73% to £49.38. During 2017 the company's stock rose 20.1%.
Against a background of softer UK retail sales growth, the company said its annual full-price sales would rise by 1.5% as falling store revenues were offset by rising online orders.
Thanks to this rise in full-price sales, the company was driven to upgrade its profit guidance for the year.
Share buybacks likely
Deutsche Bank analysts said they expected share buybacks to continue during 2018, which could provide a boost to the share price.
George Salmon at Hargreaves Lansdown added: "The decision to use the expected £300m of surplus cash generated next year to fund share buybacks rather than special dividends implies management believe the shares represent good value at the moment."
Helal Miah at the Share Centre said: “We still remain cautious on the retail sector, and continue to recommend Next as a ‘hold’.
“However, those looking to take a more adventurous approach may want to look at the likes of Next for some recovery potential along with the return on capital that management is committed to through share buybacks and an attractive dividend yield.”