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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 next week:

  • We’ll see whether DS Smith's been able to balance inflationary pressures against price hikes
  • Rolls Royce may have to revise targets in the face of new Covid-variants
  • Can Berkeley keep building on a strong housing market?

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

06-Dec
Victrex Full Year Results
07-Dec
Ashtead* Half Year Results
Babcock International Half Year Results
British American Tobacco* Pre-Close Trading Update
Ferguson First Quarter Results
08-Dec
Berkeley* Half Year Results
SSP Full Year Results
TUI Full Year Results
09-Dec
Balfour Beatty* Q3 Trading Update
DS Smith* Half Year Results
FirstGroup Half Year Results
JPMorgan European Discovery Trust Half Year Results
Moonpig Half Year Results
Rolls-Royce* Trading Update
10-Dec
No FTSE 350 Reporters

*Events on which we will be updating investors.

DS Smith – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

The e-commerce boom has shown no signs of slowing and as such we expect box-maker DS Smith to report strong demand through the first half. The biggest question is whether or not rising costs are cutting into profits. The group called out inflationary pressure in its most recent update, and this will be the first time we get a glimpse of how it’s impacted the business.

Management said it would pass these costs on to customers, and we suspect this will mostly offset the burden. However, there could be somewhat of a lag which may temporarily dampen profits.

We suspect this increasing pricing pressure will push DS Smith to pick up the pace on its goal to outsource some of its paper-making. At last check roughly 80% was made by DS Smith itself and management’s aiming to lower that to 60%.

Net Debt will be another figure to watch, as it’s been on the rise over the past year following the Europac acquisition. At 2.2x cash profits, it’s beyond management’s target. This isn’t unmanageable, but the group is likely looking for ways to chip away at that figure and we’d like to see progress on that front.

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Rolls Royce – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

Producing and servicing wide body (long haul) aircraft engines has not been a nice business to be in over the last 18 months. To that end, we aren’t expecting a complete about-turn in fortunes in next week’s trading statement. But we would like to see that things are on track – especially the aim to be cash flow positive in the second half.

The other metric to watch where Rolls is concerned is Engine Flying Hours (EFH) – this is the amount of time its engines spend in the air. And it’s what the all-important servicing revenue is based on. When we last heard, they were expected to recover to just 55% of 2019 levels in 2021 and 80% of 2019 levels in 2022. We wonder if the news of new Covid-variants and further travel restrictions have forced management to downgrade these targets at this stage.

To get itself through the pandemic, Rolls Royce underwent an enormous restructuring and cost saving programme. This includes 9,000 redundancies and business disposals. Any change of this magnitude comes with risk and we’d like to know how things are going.

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Berkeley – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

Despite the pandemic, Berkeley managed to deliver on its targets at the full-year mark back in June. Looking to next week, we’ll be keeping a close eye on new reservations and forward sales. Both of which were declining 6 months ago.

Commentary in June suggested enquiries in London, a key area, were above pre-pandemic levels. But the group needs more than enquiries to keep profits ticking over, and these need to translate into reservations and sales.

Berkeley’s business model of taking on complex, large-scale, projects has allowed margins to stay high. But it does mean finding suitable plots is more difficult, so we’ll be watching closely for information on how many new sites have been added.

More broadly, it’ll be interesting to hear how demand’s holding up as government incentives wind down. And whether supply chain issues and/or input cost inflation are having a material impact on trading.

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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.

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

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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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