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Company in the news: JD Sports

Phil Oakley tipped retailer JD Sports last April. Here, he sees how the company has got on, what investors should do now.

Last April,I suggested buying shares in sports retailer JD Sports (LSE: JD)at 1,735p. I thought the company had strong momentum and that a sensible strategy and strong profits growth could keep the share price heading higher. And that's what happened.

After splitting its shares into four last summer, the price last week was 508p a share (which equates to 2,032p pre-split). Trading has remained very strong. The five-week Christmas period to 3 January saw like-for-like sales rise by an impressive 12%.

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Trading has been so buoyant that management expects pre-tax profits for the year to February to beat analysts' forecasts (£90m at the top end). Unsurprisingly, investors gave this news a big thumbs up.

So what of its prospects at the current price? I'm still quite optimistic that this company can keep on growing nicely. I like the fact that it owns a lot of the shoe brands that it sells and that it can do more with turning around the Blacks outdoor clothing business.

Then there's the potential to create a strong business in Europe to replicate its success in the UK. The firm has sold its struggling fashion business, which never really made a decent profit.

Last but not least, at 13.5 times 2016 forecast earnings per share, the shares are slightly cheaper than when I tipped them last year. I'd stick with it, or buy in if you haven't yet.

Verdict: buy

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