Sodexo gained nearly 2% on the Paris Bourse on Friday, returning to its best levels since the end of 2017, in the wake of positive comments from Morgan Stanley, which said it saw an attractive risk/reward profile on the stock.

At around 10:00 a.m., the share was up 1.8%, the second-best performer on the SBF 120 index, after gaining as much as 2.6% at the opening.

Morgan Stanley this morning raised its recommendation on the stock from 'weight in line' to 'overweight', with a price target raised from €86 to €96.

In its research note, the financial intermediary estimates that a simplification of the group's complex capital structure could add around 10% to current market capitalization.

It adds that its work is also in line with a sustainable recovery in the US foodservice market.

At the same time, the analyst points out that increasing exposure to group purchasing organizations (GPOs), vending machines and the US market, at the expense of facility management, could enable the company to improve its profit margins by around 0.8 percentage points.

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