François-Henri Pinault's group warned the markets last month that the start of the year was not looking good. Anticipation of the bad news had sent the stock into a tailspin, but the news itself pushed the stock down even further this week.

Kering reported quarterly sales down 10% and below expectations, weighed down by Gucci, which, still struggling in Asia, posted revenues down 21% to 2.1 billion euros. The empire's other brands were unable to compensate for the fall, although they held up better under pressure.

It was the group's outlook for the coming quarter that scalded the markets most of all. Kering warns that the second quarter will be just as gloomy as the first, and anticipates a 40-45% drop in half-year operating profit compared with 2023.

This is due to a slower-than-expected transformation of its flagship brand. The arrival of Sabato de Sarno at the helm of the 2-G house, promising to dust off its image and revive its appeal, has not yet had the desired effect. The group is arming itself with patience: the new designer's collections are gradually arriving in stores, and should only represent 30% of the offer by the end of the next quarter.

Most analysts are therefore cautious about the stock, but a few are still relatively indulgent. Deutsche Bank remains Buy, while UBS believes in Gucci's upside potential and in the benefits of the investments made by the group to revitalize it.

Drawing by Amandine Victor