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Next week on the stock market

What to expect from FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies reporting next week, with a spotlight on Ted Baker, Ashtead and DS Smith.

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:

  • Ted Baker updates the market on trading for the first time since the summer, we suspect it won’t make for pretty reading
  • Ashtead could show the beginning of profit recovery
  • DS Smith looks to build on recent positive trends

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

07-Dec
Ted Baker* Half Year Results
8-Dec
Ashtead* Half Year Results
Ferguson Q1 Interim Management Statement
9-Dec
Balfour Beatty* Q3 Trading Update
Victrex Full Year Results
10-Dec
DS Smith* Half Year Results
Ocado* Q4 Trading Statement
11-Dec
Bellway AGM Trading Statement
Polar Capital Technology Trust Half Year Results

*Companies on which we will be writing research

Ted Baker – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

This is the first time we’ve heard from Ted Baker since July. Back then sales were in freefall, as growth in e-commerce failed to offset the collapse in retail sales during lockdown.

We’d hope trends have improved since then. However, Ted’s emphasis on event wear is unlikely to have served it well in a climate where everything from weddings to birthday bashes have been cancelled or drastically downsized.

There are levers Ted can pull to improve performance. Cost reduction is a big one. Head office and store staff savings are both on the agenda, as is a tighter grip on inventory. Even the best cost controls in the world can’t make up for a severe lack of sales though, and ultimately it’s the sales numbers which will be key to longer term recovery.

See the latest TED Baker share price, charts and how to trade

Sign up for Ted Baker updates

Ashtead – Sophie Lund-Yates, Equity Analyst

As a company that rents out construction equipment, Ashtead is beholden to the ups and downs of the economy. That meant we were initially fearful of the implications of coronavirus, but first quarter trading showed only a modest (8%) fall in rental revenue.

As we head into half year results, we’d like to see that rental revenue has held relatively steady. This might not be as difficult as it sounds, as an essential business, Ashtead’s shops are allowed to stay open. If Ashtead can keep revenue shored up, then coupled with cost saving measures, it could mean profits start to recover. Analysts expect second quarter pre-tax profit to fall 19.9% to £297m, compared to the 35% decline seen in the first quarter.

Ashtead thinks it can generate over £1bn of free cash flow this year. That reflects the decision to trim capital expenditure but keep the dividend. What that means for the group’s long term growth plans remains to be seen.

See the latest Ashtead share price, charts and how to trade

Sign up for Ashtead updates

DS Smith – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

DS Smith’s half year results should show some signs the group’s shaking off the worst effects of the pandemic.

Packaging volumes are recovering driven by demand from consumer goods and e-commerce customers. Cost pressures are also easing – after disruption to collections earlier in the year caused a spike in price of recycled paper (a key input in new boxes). Given the improved conditions the group has already said it plans to announce a dividend at the half year.

The most important area to look for will be the outlook for industrial customers. That customer group has been a poor performer for the group, and while lower industrial sales have been largely offset by growth elsewhere a rapid recovery could see DS Smith emerge from the crisis in a better position than it went in.

See the latest DS Smith share price, charts and how to trade

Sign up for DS Smith updates

Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Refinitiv. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Yields are variable and not guaranteed. Past performance is not a guide to the future. Investments and any 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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