Massmart recently released asomewhat confusing second trading update for the six months to end-June 2018, having previously released a trading update in late May. On this revision, financial metrics appear to have improved slightly to the extent that the group’s earnings growth may be declining more slowly than originally forecast. But performance is still poor and there are precious few reasons to get excited about its prospects. The share has been a profound disappointment, and the fanfare accompanying its majority acquisition by Walmart, announced in 2010, has fallen short of expectations and completely evaporated. Relative to other large fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers in SA, Massmart stands out as the only share to have declined in value since the Walmart deal.Over the past eight years, Shoprite and Spar have more than doubled in price, while Pick n Pay has risen by 68%. Compare this to Massmart’s equivalent 22% decline which makes it the cheapest of all the large F...

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