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Results round-up: Companies to watch this week

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Markets are likely to be buffeted by economic data this week. Monday sees PMI data from the Eurozone and investors will be looking for hopeful signs.

Data is also emerging from China, while US non-farm payrolls figures, released on Friday, will also be of interest, particularly given the latest FOMC meeting, which put the state of the labour market front-and-centre in terms of determining whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates. The ECB and Bank of England both meet this week, so there may be more shifts in monetary policy.


HSBC (interim management statement)

Investors will be watching the extent to which the banking giant has been hit by the weaker performance of emerging markets, to which it has an increasingly large exposure. They will also be watching to see whether it is hitting its regulatory and cost reduction targets. The Share Centre lists HSBC as a buy.


Legal & General (interim management statement)
L&G has delivered a robust performance over the past two years and investors will hope to see this momentum maintained. However, given weakening sentiment in the stock market since the summer, returns on investment may not be quite as impressive as past quarters. Investors will also be looking for updates on the group’s annuity business in light of the recent pensions’ changes.

Weir (interim management statement)
Around half of the group’s sales and profits come from the mining sector and a significant amount from after-sale services, leaving it dependent on commodities prices. The share price has fallen sharply recently reacting to the pressure on commodities and the significant recent fall in the oil price. Investors will be hoping for an improvement.

Associated British Foods (Q4 results)
Investors will be looking for CBI positive retail sales figures to be reflected in sales from Primark. The group’s tentative moves into the US market via a partnership with Sears will also be worth noting. Equally important will be news on the performance of the struggling sugar business. The Share Centre currently lists ABF as a hold.

Imperial Tobacco (Q4 results)
The shares have outperformed the market this year but have suffered on news of Labour’s plans for potential tax hikes. Investors will be keen to see how trading in developed European markets is progressing, given recent downbeat comments and also to receive an update on the group’s expansion into areas such as e-cigarettes. They will also want to see dividends held or improved.

Companies also reporting today include: Glencore (interim management statement) and Persimmon (interim management statement)


Marks & Spencer (Interim results)
Again, all eyes will be on the womenswear business to see whether M&S has pulled off the trick of attracting new shoppers while retaining its core customer base. Recent trading updates from other clothing retailers have not been encouraging. The strength of online sales and international sales will also be of interest to investors as the company has made those a priority in recent years. The Share Centre currently lists M&S as a buy.

Companies also reporting today include: Meggitt (interim management statement) and Old Mutual (interim management statement).


Inmarsat (Q3 results)
Investors will be looking for an update on the group’s satellite launch programme and the extent to which revenues have been impacted by the launch programme setbacks, given that Inmarsat still expects to hit a revenue target over two years of 8%-12% compound annual growth rate. The Share Centre rates the group as a BUY.

AstraZeneca (Q3 results)
The pharmaceutical group has done well since winning European regulatory backing for its olaparib ovarian cancer medicine, which has improved its prospects of remaining independent after rejecting the Pfizer takeover in May.

Companies also reporting today include: Croda International (interim management statement), Experian (Q2 results), Schroders (interim management statement), Synthomer (interim management statement), , Randgold Resources (Q3 results), Intu Properties (interim management statement), Coca-Cola HBC (Q3 results), Morrison Supermarkets (interim management statements), RSA Insurance (interim management statement) and Tate & Lyle (Q2 results)


National Grid (Q2 results), Tullow Oil (interim management statement) and Admiral (interim management statement)

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