Thursday preview: Packed diary includes British Land, National Grid, Thomas Cook
Thursday is expected to be the second busiest day on the European corporate calendar this month, with results and updates from the likes of 3i Group, British Land, Countryside, Experian, Grainger, Investec, Just Group, National Grid, Mothercare, Royal Mail, Sophos and Thomas Cook.
British Land will unveil full year results following a robust set of interim results in November, boosted by a strong office lettings performance and a a "polarisation by occupiers towards the best space" that was said to be to its advantage. Some £32m of lettings were done at levels 7% ahead of estimated rental value, with net asset value up 3% to 939p. Consensus forecast is for 36.8p earnings per share.
Analysts at Barclays expect a NAV increase of 3.3% year on year driven mainly by its £300m share buyback.
Those at UBS forecast NAV per share up 1% in the second half to 950p as the profit largely netted off by a small revaluation loss and dividend payment, with adjusted diluted EPS down 2% year-on-year to 37.2p.
"The UK property market has not entered the meltdown many feared given the referendum result," the Swiss bank said. "British Land had been on the more optimistic side throughout this period, and this view has so far been vindicated. We look for an update on market view, particularly on the London office market and its implications for the speculative development/refurbishment British Land has ongoing, while on retail we believe commentary may be subdued given the cyclical and structural headwinds facing the sector."
Credit checking giant Experian will also report on annual numbers with its shares climbing back to yearly highs in recent weeks, following solid third-quarter update showing an 8% improvement in revenue and the acquisition of UK-focused credit-checking firm ClearScore for £275m in mid-March.
The market is forecasting adjusted operating profits of $1.29bn and EPS of $0.97.
In terms of key trends, UBS anticipated organic growth to have notably accelerated in Q4 to +7% from +5% in Q3 and +4% in Q2 thanks to North America Credit Services amid the ramp-up of Trended Data at Fannie Mae, plus consumer services to be back in positive growth as new products ramp up. "We expect Experian to give guidance for the year ahead that could drive consensus upgrades", analysts said, expecting announce another buyback from an estimated $400m of surplus capital.
Full year results from National Grid are sure to show the impact of weather and storms and the sale of the Cadent gas distribution business.
Deutsche Bank forecast a sharp drop in headline earnings to £3.49bn from £4.67bn a year ago, or £3.77bn excluding gas distribution and EPS to 59.5p from 73p. "Stripping out timing we forecast EPS of circa 60.5p compared to 65.0p in 2016/17 ex timing or 58.6p also making proforma adjustments for the Cadent stake sale."
Focus areas for investors are likely to be management's views on UK regulatory developments following Ofgem’s initial proposals for the next round of energy network price controls, while there should also be am update on progress with US rates cases in lifting US equity returns and maybe some details on the anticipated timing of the pass-through of lower US taxes into bills.
Thomas Cook, with shares up 22% over the past month, will be touching down with interim results, having in February's first-quarter update reported winter bookings up 1% in its tour operator division and average selling prices up 4%, with 88% of the season sold. Summer 2018 bookings were 34% sold overall, with double-digit booking growth in the aroup airline.
The shares have been well tipped by brokers of late, with Jefferies saying the package holiday provider's chance to regain lost demand for its Eastern Mediterranean and North African offerings made the shares a "compelling recovery play", while Credit Suisse highlighted key partnership signings with the likes of Expedia and LMEY, competitor bankruptcies over at Monarch and Air Berlin, plus an impressive self-help targets.
Thursday May 17
Countryside Properties, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Future, Grainger, Thomas Cook Group, Thomas Cook Group
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Baring Emerging Europe, Cambria Automobiles, Numis Corporation, Titon Holdings
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Anglo Pacific Group, Civitas Social Housing , MedicX Fund Ltd., Raven Russia Ltd. Cum Red Pref Shares, The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited, TwentyFour Select Monthly Income Fund Limited
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Balance of Trade (EU) (10:00)
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (13:30)
3i Group, British Land Company, Experian, Mothercare, National Grid, Royal Mail, Sophos Group , Wincanton
SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Direct Line Insurance Group
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd
7Digital Group , Elecosoft, Erris Resources, eServGlobal Limited (DI), esure Group, Fevertree Drinks, Foxtons Group , Genel Energy, Great Western Mining Corporation, Great Western Mining Corporation, Great Western Mining Corporation, Gresham House, Highcroft Investment, Hill & Smith Holdings, Hiscox Limited (DI), Impax Environmental Markets, IndigoVision Group, John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd, Just Group, Kape Technologies, Legal & General Group, LiDCO Group, Medaphor Group, Next, North Midland Construction, ProPhotonix (DI), Prudential, Regional REIT Limited, Regional Reit ZDP, Robert Walters, Staffline Group, TI Fluid Systems, Vectura Group
Hill & Smith Holdings, Just Group, Regional REIT Limited, Regional Reit ZDP
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Aviva, Convatec Group , Direct Line Insurance Group, Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust, Equiniti Group , Intu Properties, Merlin Entertainments , Mobeus Income & Growth Vct, Standard Chartered, TP ICAP, Wood Group (John)
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Ascential, BlackRock Emerging Europe, BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust, Clarkson, Dignity, Inchcape, Integrated Diagnostics Holdings, Intertek Group, Irish Continental Group Units, K3 Business Technology Group, Macfarlane Group, Non-Standard Finance, Pagegroup, Robinson, Saga , Tandem Group, Ted Baker, Tesco, Witan Pacific Inv Trust
Bouygues SA, TBC Bank Group