Pharmaceutical company Dis-Chem’s failure to properly guide the market on its earnings did not sit well with investors — but that is not their only gripe. They are also concerned about sales and earnings and the company’s growth outlook. Dis-Chem does not have much room for missteps, given, as analysts put it, that it is "priced for perfection", at a forward p:e upwards of 30. In the past month Dis-Chem’s share price lost more than 12%, while Clicks, Dis-Chem’s more experienced and larger rival, gained 15%. At the moment, the smart money is definitely on Clicks. This is not what investors had expected. Dis-Chem’s listing in 2016 was welcomed as a strong alternative investment in the sector, and its earnings and growth trajectory was most promising, hence the high rating. But its results for the year to February were a surprise, and not in a good way. Dis-Chem’s share price fell from R37.50 prior to the release of its results to end-February to below R30, and has picked up only sligh...

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