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Next week on the stock market

What to expect from a selection of FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies reporting next week.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

Among those currently scheduled to release results:

  • We’ll find out how sales trends are adapting to life after lockdown at Sainsbury.
  • Ocado's international partners have launched their first CFCs.
  • Persimmon will reveal whether it has managed to up its build rates to meet strong post-pandemic demand.

FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other stocks scheduled to report next week:

No FTSE 350 reporters
J Sainsbury* Q1 Trading Statement
Ocado Group* Interim Results
Ferrexpo Q2 Production Volume
Vistry* Trading Update
Electrocomponents Q1 Trading Statement
Grafton Group Trading Update
Persimmon* Trading Update
PZ Cussons Trading Update
Watches of Switzerland Group Full Year Results
Victrex Q3 Trading Statement

*Companies on which we will be writing research.

Sainsbury – William Ryder, Equity Analyst

Sainsbury’s has had a tricky time during the pandemic, and in the last full year made a headline loss before tax of £261m. The underlying figures, which exclude restructuring costs and write downs, were better but not great – underlying profit before tax was down 39% at £356m. Sainsbury said it expects underlying profit before tax to grow this year, and that it’s “comfortable” with consensus expectations of £620m. Next week’s trading update will tell us whether the group is on track to meet that target.

We’ll also be looking at sales trends now that society is normalising after the last round of lockdowns. Grocery sales were up 7.8% for the full year, following growth in the second half of last year, and Argos sales were up 10.9%. On the other hand, general merchandise in supermarkets and clothing sales saw growth only just creep into positive territory in the second half after disappointing in the first. We expect some of these trends to moderate, but we’ll start to find out next week.

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Ocado – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

With Ocado now lapping the start of the pandemic, management have warned that “rates of sales and EBITDA [cash profits] growth in future quarters will reflect annualisation against periods of Covid-19 related lockdown experienced in FY20”. In other words, growth is expected to be slower at this set of results. Having said that, the recently opened Bristol Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC), should provide a platform for year-on-year growth.

CFCs launched for international customers in the solutions business are now up and running, with US partner Kroger opening its first CFC during the last quarter. Given the importance of International Solutions contracts to the group’s long term profitability, performance here is far more important than a lacklustre quarter in UK retail.

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Persimmon – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

At last check, housebuilder Persimmon looked to be on strong footing following last year’s Covid disruption. All eyes will be on the group’s average private sales rate, which was 17% ahead of 2019 levels in the first quarter. We’ll be looking for that strength to continue as confirmation that the uptick in new home purchases was more than just the release of pent-up demand.

Perhaps the most important factor to watch in Persimmon’s results is the group’s forward sales position, which was 11% beyond 2019 levels in Q1. We’ve seen some evidence that demand in the housing market is starting to cool, so sales reservations will be a key figure to watch.

On the supply side of things, Persimmon was more cautious than most of its peers throughout the pandemic. That meant active outlets were 15% lower than in 2019 in the first quarter. As long as demand is holding up, we’d expect that figure to creep up as the group ramps up operations. Persimmon is aiming to deliver first half completion volumes near pre-pandemic levels (7,584 homes).

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Unless otherwise stated estimates are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Refinitiv. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Past performance is not a guide to the future. Investments and income they produce can rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

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    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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