Diary commentary from FT reporters; data and company announcements, unless otherwise stated, from Thomson Reuters. Company announcements are of information publicly available before last week.
Nissan Motor Q3 Y20.63 (Y20.11)
TRADING AND SALES UPDATES
América Móvil Q4 0.39 pesos (0.24 pesos)
Coca-Cola Q4 $0.42 ($0.46)
HeidelbergCement Q4 €1.52 (€1.16)
KKR Q4 $0.45 ($1.08)
Metro Q1 €1.38 (€1.35)
Softbank Q3 Y61.37 (Y78.40)
TRADING AND SALES UPDATES
Cable & Wireless
● Tullow Oil is expected to report heavy headline losses with annual results.
The FTSE 100 company has confirmed that it will book its biggest write-off, $2.7bn before tax, for 2014, after conceding previous discoveries have no prospect of profitable development.
Tullow typically writes off large amounts of money each year spent on “dry wells”. However, last month it confirmed that it would write off a further $1.2bn of exploration spending made in past years on fields off French Guiana, Mauritania and Norway where discoveries had offered potential for development.
Tullow — in recent years one of the biggest spenders among independent exploration and production companies — trimmed its exploration budget for this year yet again to a modest $200m.
The company remains committed to capital spending programme approaching $2bn this year, of which nearly half is committed to its Ten field development off Ghana.
It is expected to detail cuts to head office costs and other operational spending.
Tullow, which ended the year with $3.1bn of net debt, expects to report revenues of $2.2bn and gross profits of about $600m ahead of exceptionals for 2014. Michael Kavanagh
AOL Q4 $0.72 ($0.64)
ARM Holdings FY 23.44p (20.60p)
Heineken FY €3.01 (€2.75)
ING Q4 €0.26 (€0.11)
PepsiCo Q4 $1.08 ($1.05)
Reckitt Benckiser FY 246.31p (269.80p)
Redrow H1* 246.31p (269.80p)
Tesla Motors Q4 $0.31 ($0.33)
Thomson Reuters Q4 $0.47($0.49)
Tullow Oil FY -$0.59 ($0.91)
UniCredit FY €0.36 (-€0.76)
TRADING AND SALES UPDATES
● Credit Suisse is expected to reveal the full extent of the damage caused by the Swiss National Bank’s surprise decision to remove the cap on the Swiss franc last month, which initially caused the franc to surge 30 per cent against the euro.
The Zurich-based bank said it had not suffered material trading losses following the cap removal, but analysts believe cost-cutting measures, including a reduced headcount, are likely as a result.
Credit Suisse’s commitment to capital-intensive investment banking is also under close examination, particularly given that Friday could see the Swiss government detail its timetable for new rules that require banks to hold even more capital against investment banking units.
The lender’s lack of progress in cutting leverage and reallocating capital from its investment bank to its private banking division has frustrated some investors, who will be hoping for a more radical overhaul of the investment bank. Morgan Stanley estimates the bank may reduce its dividend in response to these pressures. Madison Marriage
● Renault will be hoping that the success of its low-cost Dacia brand will help to offset problems in Russia and Brazil when the carmaker reports its full-year earnings.
Renault has already announced flat Brazilian sales in 2014 and a 7.4 per cent fall in Russian sales.
More positively, the company is expected to report continuing success with its no-frills Romanian Dacia brand, which has struck a chord with belt-tightening consumers in Europe. Models such as the Duster sports utility vehicle and the Sandero hatchback have proved particularly popular.
This all comes against the backdrop of improving sales in Europe. New-car registrations are about 20 per cent below their pre-recession peak, but have been rising. Michael Stothard
● Rio Tinto opens what may be a glum reporting season for the world’s largest diversified miners, with a downturn in commodity prices that will have hit 2014 earnings and still challenges the sector.
At least shareholders are likely to see an extra return of cash on top of their dividends when Rio reports full-year earnings. The intention of an enhanced return — probably through a share buyback — has been repeatedly flagged by the company. The question is what size Rio can afford or is willing to make.
The benchmark price for iron ore, the group’s most important resource, halved last year, although Rio is the lowest-cost miner and believes itself well placed to weather the storm.
Another factor is the diminishing likelihood of a fresh merger bid from Glencore, following last year’s approach. Rio might have been pushed to give more to shareholders to solidify support for its strategy. As it is, commodity prices are putting Glencore’s shares under pressure, making any bid a more expensive idea.
Consensus estimates are for Rio to report underlying earnings close to $9bn from revenues of $49bn. James Wilson
American International Q4 $1.05 ($1.15)
Commerzbank Q4 €0.09 (€0.07)
Credit Suisse Q4 SFr0.47 (SFr0.59)
Informa FY 39.69p (40.10p)
KBC Q4 €0.79 (n/a)
L’Oréal FY €5.31 (€5.13)
Pernod Ricard H1* €4.98 (€3.90)
Publicis FY €3.55 (€3.64)
Renault FY** €6.30 (€5.46)
Rio Tinto FY $4.82 ($5.53)
Shire FY $3.55 ($2.45)
Société Générale Q4 €0.73 (€0.81)
Total FY $5.32 ($6.29)
*FY estimate **Q3 estimate
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Tate & Lyle
● In contrast to Rio, at Anglo American the emphasis may be on the miner’s suite of assets. Some, such as its Minas-Rio iron ore project, are likely to be subject to impairments amid presumed lower returns. Investors will also want to hear updates on sale processes started for copper assets in Chile, platinum mines in South Africa and coal projects in Australia.
Consensus analysts’ estimates are for Anglo’s earnings before interest and taxation to be $4.98bn, with earnings per share of $1.63. James Wilson
● All eyes will be on ArcelorMittal’s outlook for 2015 when the largest steelmaker by sales reports its full-year earnings.
European and US peers are expected to face a tough year with lower global steel demand, rising Asian exports and falling iron ore prices.
ArcelorMittal was forced to downgrade its 2014 earnings forecast, from $8bn to about $7bn, in August after iron ore prices fell more than 40 per cent last year.
It is expected to meet its forecast for 2014. Analysts expect earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $7.18bn. Some analysts are cautious, with Credit Suisse forecasting lower full-year 2015 earnings of $6.5bn.
However, investors will listen closely to see whether Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian metals tycoon who heads up ArcelorMittal, is optimistic the group can improve earnings in spite of the headwinds. Tanya Powley
● After four profit warnings last year, Friday the 13th is not the most auspicious day for Rolls-Royce to be publishing 2014 results. But the near 20 per cent fall in the engine-maker’s shares over the past year should have sent the clear message that this time it needs to get its guidance right.
In October it said it expected underlying revenue in 2014 to be 3.5-4 per cent lower than 2013’s £15.5bn, and market consensus, based on Rolls-Royce guidance, is for pre-tax profits of about £1.6bn.
No doubt Rolls-Royce has worked every penny to make sure it can hit these expectations. Investors will want to see progress on inventory turns, cash management and costs.
But they should also be braced for revisions to expectations for 2015 as new finance director David Smith makes his first public appearance. As Robert Stallard, of RBC Capital, notes: “History has shown that new CFOs tend to re-base expectations and we expect this to be a feature of the 2014 results.”
There is also the question of how much pain is being inflicted on Rolls-Royce’s marine and power businesses by the low oil price, with energy majors pulling projects and cutting costs. Peggy Hollinger
Anglo American FY $1.66 ($2.09)
ArcelorMittal Q4 $0.26 ($0.02)
Rolls-Royce FY 62.89p (65.59p)
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Q3 Y57.05 (n/a)
ThyssenKrupp Q1 €0.19 (-€0.37)
TRADING AND SALES UPDATE
Results forecasts, from Thomson Reuters, are for fully diluted, post-tax EPS in local currency for the stated fiscal period. The comparable period of the previous year is bracketed. Non-UK reporting periods are broken by quarter: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4. UK periods are designated: Q1, H1 (first half), Q3 and FY (full year). Thomson Reuters calculates mean earnings estimates based on a majority policy where the accounting basis used for each company estimate is that used by the majority of contributing analysts email@example.com
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