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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:

  • United Utilities should offer some guidance on how regulatory changes could impact revenue forecasts
  • We’ll find out how Next’s sales held up as warm weather eased
  • boohoo’s supply chain review will remain front and centre

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

27-Sep
United Utilities* Pre-Close Trading Update
28-Sep
Close Brothers Full Year Results
Ferguson Full Year Results
Moonpig Trading Update
Pennon* Trading Update
Smiths Group Full Year Results
29-Sep
Next* Half Year Results
SSP Trading Update
30-Sep
boohoo* Half Year Results
Renishaw Full Year Results
01-Oct
No FTSE 350 Reporters

*Events on which we will be updating investors.

United Utilities – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

There’ll be one thing on investors’ minds when United Utilities offers a trading update - the dividend. One of the reasons people hold utilities is because their more reliable revenue streams can translate into healthier dividends, and a prospective yield of 4.3% is a big part of United’s investment case. But remember no dividend is guaranteed. This is especially true at the moment because United’s hit a few bumps recently.

Regulatory changes resulted in a lower chargeable price, which hit revenues last year, but Ofwat’s recent decision to allow utilities to up their prices could reverse some of that damage. We’re expecting management to offer an update on how this change might impact the group’s forecast for this year. With infrastructure investments on the rise, better-than-expected revenue would be a welcome tailwind.

Bolstering profits will be important if the group’s to maintain its progressive dividend policy, which is linked to inflation. The rise in inflation means UU could be in for a larger than anticipated dividend hike this year - the latest August figures show a 3% annual increase. We wonder if management will stick to its promises, or shakeup the dividend policy to reflect the transient nature of the current price rises.

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Next – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

In July, Next said recent trading was “materially ahead” of expectations, and it upped full year profit guidance by £30m. So, we have reason enough to expect a relatively spritely set of half year results. We already know total full price sales rose 7.8% in the period – so what else is there to watch out for?

The big one is momentum. Second quarter sales far outpaced the first, largely because of pent up demand and warm weather. What we’d like to know is at what pace this is slowing down. As the warm weather eased, so did sales, so exactly what this will translate to is yet to be seen.

We’d like to know how things are looking in the store estate as well. Sales have been declining for a while, but we wonder how the autumn/winter collections are being received in-store. Next’s prevalence in out-of-town retail parks means it may have been able to perform better than peers as more of the UK gets back to the office and social events.

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boohoo – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

Sentiment around boohoo is being overshadowed by concerns over its ongoing supply chain review. Poor working conditions and exploitation have led the group to overhaul its processes, and an update on how things are going will be top of most people’s lists.

Away from the scandal though there’s something else to consider. The market expects a lot from boohoo – a 32% increase in first quarter revenue back in June left the market nonplussed. “Good” isn’t good enough for the clothing retailer. With that in mind, there’s pressure for the group to remain on track for its medium-term goal of 25% revenue growth.

On a wider scale, we wonder if boohoo has any plans to strengthen its sustainability credentials. Fellow fast fashion names ASOS and Primark have recently committed to upping their use of sustainable materials. Any specific goals or comments around this, and what that means for margins, would be read with great interest.

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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 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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