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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.

As the UK settles into its third national lockdown, investors are focused on one thing—the future. That’s especially true for the spate of housebuilders reporting next week, whose continued strength depends heavily on the UK avoiding another recession.

Retailers will also dominate the headlines once again this week as investors evaluate their performance over the festive shopping period, particularly online as store closures are likely through March.

Among the FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies scheduled to report next week:

  • Vistry should reveal whether it still plans to resume its dividend payments
  • Eyes will be on the supply chain scandal at boohoo
  • Tesco will let us know how the online business is delivering

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

11-Jan
No FTSE 350 Reporters
12-Jan
Ferrexpo PLC Q4 Trading Update
JD Sports Christmas Trading Statement
Vistry* Q4 Trading Update
XP Power Q4 Trading Update
13-Jan
ASOS* Q1 Trading Update
Page Group Q4 Trading Update
Persimmon* Q4 Trading Update
14-Jan
Associated British Foods* Q1 Trading Update
boohoo* Trading Update
Dunelm Q2 Trading Update
Halfords* Q3 Trading Update
Hays Q2 Trading Update
Safestore Full Year Results
Taylor Wimpey* Q4 Trading Update
Tesco* Q3 & Christmas Trading Update
Whitbread* Q3 Trading Update
Wood Group Q4 Trading Update
15-Jan
Ashmore Group Q2 Trading Update

*Companies on which we will be writing research.

Vistry – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

With a third national lockdown in full swing, one major question remains for housebuilders like Vistry - what will this do to the economy? The sector escaped the turmoil of 2020 relatively unscathed due to the housing market’s resilience, but as the pandemic drags on, the threat of a prolonged economic downturn is increasing. That makes the outlook statement the most important place to look next week.

In November, Vistry said it was planning to resume dividend payments. But financial fortitude will once again take precedence. That means the payout could appear in the latter part of the year, if at all. This will depend on management’s predictions for what the latest round of lockdown restrictions will mean for the income statement. Debt repayment was also on management’s to-do list, the results of which could help, or hinder, the case for renewed dividend payments.

Vistry has taken an aggressive approach to buying land over the past year. We think this is a prudent move, so long as conditions don’t deteriorate too much, which would make it more difficult to turn these plots into profit. Therefore, it will be interesting to note if the group’s approach to land purchasing has changed.

See the Vistry share price, charts and how to deal

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boohoo – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

Attention will firmly be on commentary surrounding the ongoing review of boohoo’s UK supply chain. The company was rocked last year following allegations of poor working conditions, low pay, and lacklustre corporate governance. This culminated in the resignation of the group’s auditor, PwC, in October.

Any further news on findings, and progress on mitigating actions will be read closely. We’d like more detail to help us assess how well-equipped boohoo’s management team is. We can’t deny improvement is needed, and the share price will be sensitive to any unwanted information.

We’ll be very interested to know if the ongoing scandal has dented sales. On one hand, boohoo’s core, young, demographic is becoming more ethically minded. On the other, the group’s (often outrageously) low price tags could be enough to tempt swathes of shoppers. boohoo has traditionally grown sales at a very impressive rate – thanks to this “pile it high, sell it cheap” mentality. This time last year, sales grew 43%. If we start to see growth slow too much because of a growing backlash, the longevity of boohoo’s entire modus operandi could be called into question.

See the boohoo share price, charts and how to deal

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Tesco – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

If Morrison’s Christmas trading statement was anything to go by, smaller gatherings at Christmas won’t have dampened sales over the key festive period. If Tesco follows the trend, sales of traditional festive fare will have skyrocketed. Morrison’s sales rose 8.0% on a like-for-like basis over the peak Christmas season, so this is what we’ll be benchmarking against.

It will be important to look at any commentary surrounding full year profit expectations. Huge costs associated with Covid-19 means Tesco’s half-year profits shrunk, ignoring the benefits of business rate relief. To protect margins, higher costs need to be offset by increased scale. So, we’ll be looking to see just how much sales rose in the third quarter, especially as November saw the re-introduction of tougher restrictions for much of the UK. This time last year, a highly competitive landscape meant group sales fell 1.4%.

Tesco is banking on a long-term increase in demand for online delivery slots. At the half year, online accounted for around 16% of UK sales, and we wonder where that figure is now. The latest lockdown triggered another mad rush for too-few delivery slots across the big four and Ocado, so we’ve reason to suspect that 16% is well on its way up.

See the Tesco share price, charts and how to deal

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HL’s chair is also a non-executive director at Tesco plc

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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