Analyst: Buy Whitbread shares today despite UK inflation data

FTSE 100 index The day is trading lower after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said consumer prices rose more than expected in March.

High inflation data in the UK today

Year-on-year inflation in the UK remained 10.1% last month – down from 10.4% in February but higher than the 9.8% expected by economists. the ONS report is reading:

The largest contributors to the annual inflation rate increase in the CPI in March 2023 came from housing, household services (mainly from electricity, gas and other fuels), food and non-alcoholic beverages.

On a monthly basis, CPI rose 0.8% vs. 0.5% expected. In February, the month-on-month increase was 1.1%.

Excluding food, energy, alcohol and tobacco, the so-called baseline CPIH was unchanged from February at 5.7%. The blue-chip index is currently up more than 4% year-on-year.

Morgan Stanley bullish on Whitbread

Despite today’s UK inflation data, analysts at Morgan Stanley remain bullish on London-listed hotel and restaurant company Whitbread plc (Color: WTB).

They are confident the Dunstable-headquartered company will report better-than-expected full-year pre-tax profit on April 25th. In their research note on Wednesday, they added:

Whitbread’s assets provide good protection against inflation and stock trading at an updated property valuation, so it’s free to operate. We expect cash flow to return and view our fiscal ’23 results as the main catalyst going forward.

The UK stock is currently offering a dividend yield of 1.89%, which makes it another good reason to own it.

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