Delhaize hits five-month high after fourth quarter sales

BRUSSELS Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:20am EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Delhaize shares gain as much as 6.9 percent to a five-month high on Thursday after it reported final-quarter revenues showing U.S. sales have stemmed four quarters of declining sales. <ID:L6N0AM19M>

The Belgian company, which earns some 65 percent of its income in the United States, said comparative sales there were flat in the Oct-Dec period.

The shares are the strongest on Euronext Brussels and in the STOXX 600 European retail index .SXRP, which is up 0.4 percent.

"The stock remains inexpensive, but the track record of the past two years has not been exemplary," said broker Bank Degroof, maintaining its buy rating and 39 euro price target.

"But volatility in the stock remains high and visibility on the performance metrics rather low."

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)

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