Companies reporting w/c 11 March

What to expect from companies announcing results week commencing 11 March 2019.

The Share Centre gives its thoughts on what to expect from companies announcing results week commencing 11 March 2019.

Tuesday

Lookers Plc (Q4 2018 Earnings Release)

With big changes taking place in global car manufacturing, and sales of new cars having weakened over the past year, the market will be paying close attention to these results from car dealership group Lookers. The figures themselves should not contain too many surprises as the company said in November that it was on track to meet full-year expectations. However, any comments on prospects for new car sales in the current year will be of interest. The company benefits from operating in the used car market and providing aftersales services so the performance of those will also be worth noting.

We currently list Lookers Plc as a BUY

Wm Morrison Supermarkets (Q4 2019 Earnings Release)

The UK's fourth biggest supermarket with around 10.6% market share owns and manufactures a large proportion of its stores and food production. Analysts have been impressed with the cutting of costs and debt. As ever recent sales numbers at its core retail business will be important. Competition concerns are not going to go away and management initiatives will take time to execute; there is also fading hopes of the group picking up stores from the Sainsbury/Asda proposed merger.

We currently list Morrison as a HOLD

Hikma (Q4 2019 Earnings Release)

2017 was a very difficult year for the group who reported losses amounting to $843m. 2018 though is expected to be a better year with profits expected to return to some form of normality and impairments made regarding previous acquisitions and delayed drug approvals should not be repeated. Indeed the last trading update was positive where they upgraded expectations for their Generics and Global Injectables businesses. One of the key issues going forward is when we will eventually see the approval of the generic copy of Advair going onto the market and how far they have got in the regulatory approval process, updates on this aspect will be eagerly awaited.

We currently list Hikma as a BUY

Prudential (Q4 2018 Earnings Release)

The group as a whole should continue to see the benefits of its expansion into the Asian markets which benefits from faster population growth and rising numbers in the middle classes needing western style life products. However, key focus will be on last year's announcement that the group will split in two, with the UK businesses separating out of the global units. Investors will be seeking further clarity and a progress update in this regard and also upon the raft of management changes that have recently been announced.

We currently list Prudential as a BUY

Standard Life Aberdeen Plc (Q4 2018 Earnings Release)

The past year has been an increasingly difficult for the group with fund outflows continuing at its main Global Absolute Return Strategies fund. There was also the loss of Lloyds Bank as a customer. Investors will be focussing on cost savings, with recent thoughts that there could be job cuts, the international operations, performance over the difficult final quarter, dividend policy and the group’s outlook for the year ahead.

We currently list Standard Life Aberdeen as a HOLD

Friday

Restaurant Group (Q4 2018 Earnings Release)

The recent news that the CEO is departing following on so closely from the controversial deal to buy Wagamama has further unsettled the shares which are close to a 9-year low. The market will be concentrating on current trading at its restaurants and any further news regarding plans for Wagamama. The sector has been under huge pressure with the latest news of closures coming from Giraffe.

We currently list Restaurant Group as a BUY

Companies reporting this day include Berkeley (Trading update) – HOLD

Economic Diary

11 March, UK January GDP and Construction, Manufacturing and Industrial Production

After the previous month’s numbers where we saw the slowest growth since 2012, investors are bracing themselves still for bad news on economic activity as we either get closer to the crunch point or face uncertainty that is extended for a little bit longer. No doubt, this plays into business investment decisions, if the consensus view holds, then January could have been a month where economic activity fell by 0.4%. The construction, manufacturing and industrial production figures, which all fell during December, should again reflect the lower activity levels. These items of data will be revealed just ahead of a crucial week in Westminster and the Brexit process along with the fact that we have the Spring Budget statement.

All information given including prices, yields and our opinion is correct at the time of publication. Our opinions on investments can change at any time and for our latest view please go to www.share.com. To understand how our Investment research team arrive at their views please read our Investment Research Policy.