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.
● Lonmin will report on the financial consequences of another turbulent year in South African mining but investors will pay just as much attention to what the platinum producer says about its next steps.
The UK-listed miner is conducting a strategic review after it was involved in a five-month strike this year. Since the stoppage ended in June, Lonmin has regained full production more quickly than first anticipated, which is likely to help the strike-hit annual results, but that has not halted this year’s steady slide in the company’s share price.
Concerns over Lonmin’s financial health following the strike have been compounded by the recent slump in the price of platinum, a precious metal with industrial applications, for example in components to cut emissions from diesel engines. Gloom over Europe’s economy is expected to hurt diesel vehicle sales.
Analysts at Deutsche believe that, on their price assumptions for next year, Lonmin’s mines will be lossmaking. The miner says not enough of its shafts are at an optimum stage of production – too many are either still in a growth phase, and therefore requiring more investment, or in decline.
Lonmin is expected to have to address what its growth ambitions are and how it will prioritise its investments, after the miner has already cut capital spending to try to protect its balance sheet and weather the effects of the strike.
A company “sustainable through all cycles” is the stated goal of Ben Magara, chief executive. Any restructuring plans will also have to be carried through amid South Africa’s often volatile industrial relations.
Analysts at UBS note a wide range of forecasts for Lonmin’s earnings because of uncertainty over its output as well as one-off costs related to the strike and its aftermath. UBS expects the miner to report an annual loss per share of almost 50p, and underlying earnings per share of 7.6p, from revenues of just over $1bn. James Wilson
Carlsberg Q3 DKr13.8DKr14.7
E2V Tech FY (H1 estimate) 11.78p11.60p
Kabel D FY (Q2 estimate) €3.21€0.36
Sotheby’s Q3 -$0.37-$0.44
Trading and sales updates: Hammerson, Iliad, McDonald’s, Redrow, Trinity Mirror
● Vodafone is expected to show a modest improvement in its first-half results, although analysts point out that this is likely to in part reflect a particularly poor comparative period last year.
The fall in service revenues at the British telecoms group is expected to lessen to about 3 per cent as regulatory burdens have eased in the second quarter, from 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year, with the company set to point to rapid increases in the amount of data being used by its customers as a sign that its strategy is working.
The company’s emerging markets businesses in Africa, India and Turkey are expected to remain by far the strongest performers, with heavy declines in revenues expected still in Europe. There are double-digit service revenue falls forecast in Spain and Italy, even if there are improvements to still falling turnover in Germany and the UK.
However, analysts see it as too early to see the financial benefits of a recent investment in its networks code-named “Project Spring”. Turnover is expected to fall to about £21bn in the first half, from £22bn in the period last year, according to analysts at Barclays, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation down to £5.7bn from £6.6bn. Daniel Thomas
AP Moeller Mk Q3 DKr394 DKr298
Enel FY (Q3 estimate) €0.32 €0.34
Henkel Co Q3 €1.12 €1.10
Intesa Sanpaolo Q3 €0.04 €0.01
Land Securities FY (H1 estimate) 40.72p 40.50p
TalkTalk H1 5.65p 0.70p
Vodafone H1 2.47p 14.39p
UniCredit Q3 €0.09 €00.0
Trading and sales updates: Capita, CRH, Taylor Wimpey
● J Sainsbury is set to report a fall in interim pre-tax profit, as it feels the impact from the escalating price war in the grocery sector.
The consensus of analysts’ forecasts is for a fall in pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of September from £400m to just over £350m.
However, the bigger focus will be on the strategic review announced by Mike Coupe, who succeeded Justin King as chief executive in July.
Analysts expect Mr King to strengthen the balance sheet and simplify the business to help it deal with the competitive trading environment, characterised by the charge of the German discounters, and competitors pledging to spend billions of pounds cutting prices.
People familiar with the situation suggested Mr Coupe could outline a more conservative dividend policy going forward together with a continuing focus on controlling costs.
“While a dividend cut is by definition not welcome for most shareholders, in this case it may not be a significant problem given we believe it is partly expected and given it would ease balance sheet pressure,” said analysts at Barclays.
Mr Coupe is also expected to continue the process of being more disciplined when it comes to capital expenditure. Sainsbury has already reined in the amount of money that is being invested in big stores and this is expected to continue. Andrea Felsted
Burberry H1 51.33p 47.00p
Deutsche Post Q3 €0.39 €0.32
EON FY (Q3 estimate) $1.19 $1.57
Macy’s Q3 $0.51 $0.47
Markit Q3 $0.37 n/a
J Sainsbury FY (H1 estimate) 26.85p 32.20p
SSE H1 33.03p 28.83p
Tencent Holdings Q3 Rmb0.68 Rmb0.41
Trading and sales updates: Barratt Developments, G4S, Tullow Oil, WH Smith
● Investors may be forgiven for slight confusion with the London Stock Exchange Group’s half-year results. The UK bourse is switching its year-end from March to December so the update represents its second set of interim results in three months.
Beyond that, investors will be looking for more news on the LSE’s proposed purchase of Russell Investments, the US indices compiler. It has completed a rights issue to help fund the $2.7bn deal, and is expected to close in coming weeks.
Of greater interest will be the LSE’s intentions around Russell’s investment management business. Some investors have worried the LSE’s ownership could create a conflict of interest. The LSE is conducting a review and analysts have forecast the unit could sell for as much as $850m.
For the six months to September 30, RBC Capital Markets is forecasting the LSE will report total revenue of £590.2m and adjusted operating profit of £280.9m compared to a profit of £229.9m from revenues of £504.2m a year ago. Most of the growth will be organic, coming from a mixture of new listings, trading market data and fees from clearing over-the-counter derivatives. Philip Stafford
3i Group FY (H1 estimate) 43.98p 34.22p
ACS Q3 €0.41 €0.43
Ahold FY (Q3 estimate) €0.89 €0.92
GDF Suez FY (Q3 estimate) €1.27 €2.22
Great Portland Es H1 5.40p 5.30p
London Stock Exchange FY (H1 estimate) 100.73p 95.25p
KBC Groupe Q3 €0.91 -€0.30
Merck Q3 €1.18 €1.15
RWE FY (Q3 estimate) €2.22 €3.76
SABMiller H1 $1.47 $1.19
Sumitomo Mitsui Q2 Y171.27 Y158.90
Viacom Q4 $1.68 $1.55
Vivendi Q3 €0.08 €0.22
Trading and sales updates: ITV, Rolls-Royce
Shareholder meeting JD Wetherspoon
Altice FY (Q3 estimate) €0.56 €0.35
Airbus Q3 €0.56 €0.55
Bouygues FY (Q3 estimate) €2.52 €2.03
Mitsubishi UFJ F Q2 Y18.74 Y18.79
Mizuho Financial Group Q2 Y6.51 Y7.36
Trading and sales update: RBS Holdings
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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