City analysts say Safeway's fourth quarter trading statement, expected next week, will be poor, while Tesco' s full-year results will be on track.
Many in the City have forecast that Philip Green will make a bid once the fourth-quarter figures had been released.
But Credit Lyonnais Securities analyst Kien Tan expected Green to wait until mid-May in order to see Safeway's profit figures in its year-end results.
Tan added: "If Green hopes that the fourth quarter results are abysmal in order to drag down the share price, then he will be disappointed. It is unlikely he will be able to table a 250p bid after these results."
Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner believed Green would first decide what Safeway was worth and then ask major Safeway shareholders behind the scenes if they would accept the offer. If they declined, then Green might shy away.
Tesco's annual results, out next Tuesday, are expected to show Britain's top retailer enjoyed another good year.
>>p16 Safeway team named

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