Morrisons shares are going to be focused later in the week when it releases its latest set of annual results, with markets expecting the supermarket chain to post a steep fall in profits because it books large costs adapting to the coronavirus crisis.

When will Morrisons release its annual results?

Morrisons will release preliminary results for the fiscal year to early February on March 11 at 0700 GMT.

Morrisons earnings consensus: what to expect

Supermarkets are one among the few sorts of stores that are ready to remain open during the pandemic and spending has remained resilient. But it's also caused an exponential rise in costs as stores introduce extra safety measures, hire more staff and affect workers who need day off to isolate.

That has placed the industry during a difficult position. On the one hand, the industry has felt obliged to return a number of the support, like business rates relief, it's received from the govt because they need been ready to stay open. On the opposite , supermarkets have seen their profitability squeezed. On top of the prices related on to the pandemic, supermarkets have had to spend big to rapidly expand their online and delivery capabilities, answer changing shopping habits and on preparing for Brexit.

This will weigh down Morrisons when it releases its annual results. Not only is it expecting to book £280 million worth of Covid-19 costs, but it's decided to repay £230 million worth of business rates relief.

Morrisons has said it'll deliver pretax profit before exceptionals of £420 million to £440 million. This doesn't take the repayment of business rates relief under consideration . this could be watched closely because the company has warned the unpredictable outlook makes providing ‘precise guidance difficult’.

Online and wholesale growth

Morrisons has been adapting to the large changes that the pandemic has thrown at it. it's had to grow its online service to serve people stuck reception and has made it profitable. it's also found new distribution channels by partnering up with the likes of Amazon and Deliveroo. And its wholesale business has also continued to grow both top and bottom lines, driven by its supply deals with convenience stores like McColls, which are being gradually converted into Morrisons Daily’s formats.

Investors will want to ascertain Morrisons still capitalise on these areas of the business to make sure it's new growth avenues to pursue once things start to return to normal.

Will Morrisons pay a special dividend?

The dividend also will be closely watched. the corporate raised its interim dividend by 5.7% to 2.04 pence from 1.93 pence the year before, and it paid out a 4.0p special payout in January that had been deferred from the last fiscal year , implying it's confident about distributing take advantage the present climate.

The total dividend within the last fiscal year was 8.77p, made from a 6.77p ordinary dividend and a 2.0p special payout. Morrisons said it might review its ability to pay a special dividend when it releases its results.

Where next for the Morrisons share price?

Morrison has been trading within a variety of 18p since the beginning of the year. The holding pattern is capped within the upside by 186p and therefore the lower band at 168p. Morrison share price trades towards the lower end of the horizontal channel.

The stock trades below its 50 and 100 sma which are flat, and therefore the RSI is additionally showing a neutral bias at 50.

Traders may look to attend for fresh impetus from the results before taking an edge . The bears should be trying to find a break-out below 168p which could signal the beginning of a deeper unload towards 161 the November 2020 low.

Upbeat results from Morrison could spark the bulls into action. Any recovery would wish to push above resistance at 175 and 177 the 100 and 50 sma respectively. an opportunity above those levels could spark more bullish momentum and convey 186p the upper band into target.How to trade Morrisons shares

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