Next week sees a raft of company updates for investors to digest, and given the fragile sentiment in equity markets, there will be added pressure on companies to deliver.

TUESDAY 21 MAY

On Tuesday, high quality food producer Cranswick (CWK) will report full year numbers. Back in February the shares fell by 15% in reaction to a fall in revenues over the festive period.

READ MORE ABOUT CRANSWICK HERE

The company highlighted a challenging retail environment with pressure on margins. Brokers have since downgraded their full year expectations to reflect the cautious outlook. The market is expecting pre-tax profit of £91.7m, slightly down on 2018 profit of £92.4m.

Historically, Cranswick has consistently invested in its asset base, and seen improving efficiencies as a result.

Investors will be hoping that management give some reassurance that a bounce back in margins is on the cards.

TUESDAY 21 MAY

Automotive and cycle retailer Halfords (HFD) reported weak Christmas sales back on 10 January and are due to report full year numbers, also on Tuesday.

Highlighting warm weather and a softening consumer backdrop, the shares took a 23% bath on the day.

Analysts have reduced their expectations by 18% over the last few months, and the consensus is for net profit of £47.5m down 13% year on year, on flat revenues versus last year.

READ MORE ABOUT HALFORDS HERE

Chief executive Ian Stapleton has been at the business for a little over a year now and investors will be watching for signs that the business is back on the growth tack. Stapleton highlighted three hidden gems in last year’s report that were under-exploited.

These included services businesses, group-wide databases and new B2B opportunities. More colour is expected on how the company expects to exploit these hidden gems.

WEDNESDAY 22 MAY

Marks & Spencer (MKS) reports full year numbers on Wednesday and investors will be hoping for more details on the joint-venture with Ocado (OCDO), announced in February. We reported on the deal here.

Analysts have been divided as to the rationale of the tie-up, some arguing that it is a waste of money, and defensive, highlighting Marks’ weak on-line offering, while others see the benefits for long term growth. Marks’ has been going through a lot of structural change in the last few months as they try to remain relevant for today’s shoppers.

Earnings estimates have been drifting lower over the last year, and now analysts expect pre-tax profit of £520.7m, down 10% and earnings per share of 24.76p, down 36%.

READ MORE ON MARKS & SPENCER HERE


Issue Date: 17 May 2019