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

  • United Utilities will tell us how capital spending is progressing
  • Any update on recent sales trends will be a crucial number to look for in Compass Group
  • Changing sales mix puts profit margins in the spotlight at Pets at Home

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

LXI REIT Half Year Results
Sirius Real Estate Half Year Results
AO World Half Year Results
Caledonia Investments Half Year Results
Compass* Full Year Results
Cranswick Half Year Results
CRH Trading Update
Greencore Full Year Results
Intertek* Trading Update
Pennon* Half Year Results
Pets at Home* Half Year Results
UDG Healthcare Full Year Results
Babcock International Half Year Results
Brewin Dolphin Full Year Results
Liontrust Asset Management Half Year Results
Rotork Trading Update
United Utilities* Half Year Results
Virgin Money Full Year Results
AVIVA* Trading Update
Britvic Full Year Results
JLEN Environmental Assets Half Year Results
Severn Trent* Half Year Results
HabourVest Global Private Equity Half Year Results

*Companies on which we will be writing research.

United Utilities– Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

In a recent trading statement United Utilities said first half trading had been in line with the group’s expectations. To be fair, utilities are usually quite predictable, but it’s nice to know there aren’t any nasty surprises incoming.

Cash collection is running to plan, but United Utilities is expecting an uptick in bad debt once government support schemes start winding down. However, management have already put aside money to cover that, so again hopefully not something to worry about next week.

Instead it’s long expected regulatory changes together with some lower water usage by business customers that are likely to see revenues fall around 5% next week. Operating profit is expected to fall as a result of the lower revenue and higher maintenance and replacement spending.

Our real area of focus at these results will be the acceleration in capital spending plans under the AMP7 regulatory regime. The trading statement was a little light on detail here, so it’s something to watch.

See the latest United Utilities share price, charts and how to trade

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Compass Group – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

We always considered Compass to be a high quality, relatively defensive business. However, the pandemic caught us completely off guard.

Revenue fell by 44% in the third quarter as lockdowns forced the contract catering group to shut up shop. The three months to the end of September also saw revenue slump 36%, and that was after peak lockdown in most markets.

A £2bn share placing completed back in May means the balance sheet’s in pretty good shape and more recently the group’s managed to break even at the operating level.

All that detail kind of leaves you wondering what there’s left to say at full year results next week. We suspect investor attention will be firmly fixed on any comments on trading after the end of the financial year as well as guidance for 2021. There’s going to be a degree of uncertainty to both numbers, but with a vaccine on the horizon if the group can show some signs of progress (particularly in travel locations) it will do a lot to ease remaining concerns.

See the latest Compass Group share price, charts and how to trade

Pets at Home – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

Pets’ September trading update reported “double-digit” like-for-like sales growth in the eight weeks to 10 September. The group hasn’t just survived the coronavirus storm, it’s thrived.

The question next week is how well these additional sales have translated into additional profits.

We suspect that an increase in online sales and extra costs associated with operating in a socially distanced manner will have held back margins a bit. Some of those costs will be temporary, especially those directly related to social distancing. However, the ongoing profitability of digital sales, either fully online or through click & collect, is a crucial long-term consideration.

See the latest Pets at Home share price, charts and how to trade

Sign up for Pets at Home updates

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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