Companies diary: May 19 – May 23

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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.

Monday – May 19


Campbell Soup Q3 $0.59 ($0.62)

Kabel Deutschland Q4 n/a (€0.53)

Trading and sales update


Tuesday – May 20

Vodafone’s full-year results will be complicated by the one-off boosts from the $130bn sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless and deferred tax assets of almost £18bn realised in the year, write Daniel Thomas.

However, the underlying operational performance will tell a familiar story of declining sales in mature markets in Europe only partially offset by growth in its emerging markets of India and Turkey.

Analysts predict an overall 4 per cent drop in service revenue in the last quarter owing to continued macroeconomic and competitive pressures across Europe, dragged down by a fall of more than 8 per cent in Europe against a rise of close to 6 per cent in its emerging markets operations. Full-year revenues are estimated to have fallen by close to £1bn, to about £43.5bn during the year.

Vodafone will provide an update on its “Project Spring” investment plan to improve its fibre and mobile networks across Europe, although the costs starting to come through should weigh on margins.

Marks and Spencer is set to report a 7.5 per cent fall in underlying pre-tax profit next week, the third consecutive decline in annual profit, writes Andrea Felsted.

The high street bellwether is expected to report a fall in underlying pre-tax profit from £665.2m to £615m in the year to March 2014, according to a consensus of analysts’ forecasts.

Sales are expected to increase from £10bn to £10.3bn, although this is short of the target that M&S set two years ago, to increase sales from £9.7bn in 2010-11 to between £10.8bn and £11.5bn in 2013-14.

Marc Bolland, chief executive, and Laura Wade-Gery, the former Tesco executive who is head of its online business, are also expected to face questions over the success of a revamped website amid concerns about slowing sales following a £150m makeover.


Marks and Spencer FY 31.10p (32.50p)

Staples Q1 $0.21 ($0.26)

TJX Cos Q1 $0.67 ($0.62)

Vodaphone FY 13.46p (28.55p)

Shareholder meetings


JPMorgan Chase

Wednesday – May 21

AP Møller-Maersk will give investors insight into the outlook for global trade when the biggest container shipping line reports first-quarter results, writes Richard Milne.

The Danish conglomerate transports about 15 per cent of all seaborne freight, giving it an excellent overview of the flow of goods worldwide.

Maersk upped its forecast for global trade this year in February, saying container demand should increase by 4-5 per cent in 2014 compared with 3.5 per cent last year.

Investors in the conglomerate – whose other activities stretch from oil exploration and drilling rigs to port terminals and a stake in Denmark’s biggest bank – will want to see if Maersk becomes more optimistic for the year after issuing a subdued forecast for 2014 of flat underlying profits. They will also look out for news on its operational alliance with its two top rivals on three of the biggest trade routes.

● Analysts will be judging venerable PC maker Hewlett-Packard with a sceptical yet not entirely pessimistic eye when it reports its earnings for the quarter, writes Sarah Mishkin.

HP’s shares are already up nearly 20 per cent year to date as its chief executive, Meg Whitman, executes her turnround plan for the 75-year-old tech group.

In April, its shares jumped when market research data showed the decline of the PC market had slowed and HP’s computers had gained market share.

The company is also investing heavily in its cloud business, revamping products and services to capture more of the still growing market.

Less excitingly perhaps, it is also focusing on enterprise sales of printers and ink, which although not a booming market can be less fickle than consumer-facing sales.

Analysts are expecting earnings per share of $0.88, from $0.87 last year, on revenues of $27.4bn, down marginally from the same quarter last year.


AP Møller-Maersk Q1 DKr250.82 (DKr173.16)

Burberry FY 76.37p (70.00p)

Hewlett-Packard Q2 $0.88 ($0.87)

Target Q1 $0.72 ($0.82)

Tiffany & Co Q1 $0.78 ($0.70)

Shareholder meeting


Thursday – May 22

Deutsche Bank will face questioning from shareholders over its plans to get through what executives have described as a “transitional year” for the lender at its annual general meeting, writes Alice Ross.

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks over the bank’s capital strength, adding pressure on co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen.

Regulatory requirements this year will see the eurozone’s largest lenders forced to undergo stress tests that could lead to Deutsche Bank being ordered to plug any capital holes in its balance sheet.

The bank revealed last month that its core tier one equity ratio – a crucial regulatory measure of strength – had fallen in the first quarter from 9.7 to 9.5 per cent, putting it among the least well capitalised banks in Europe.

Executives are now dusting off a so-called Plan B to raise fresh equity from shareholders after a €3bn capital raising only a year ago.

Some investors have said they would welcome the measure as a large capital raise might finally put questions over Deutsche Bank’s capital strength to bed, while others are more nervous.

Germany’s largest bank could also face resistance over its remuneration plans, with a resolution on the table to allow bankers to be paid bonuses worth twice their salaries.

The lender has estimated the move will cost it €291m this year as it raises the pay of nearly 4,000 workers whose bonuses could exceed even the 1:2 ratio. Deutsche Bank is also planning to boost the salaries of its co-chief executives by almost two-thirds to deal with the effect of the cap.

SABMiller, the world’s second largest beer company, is expected to report 2013 pre-tax profits of $4.8bn-$4.9bn, having already said last month that organic lager volumes would be up 1 per cent and revenues 3 per cent, writes Scheherazade Daneshkhu.

The London-listed company is a barometer of emerging market trends given that more than 60 per cent of sales are to these countries. More detail on the slowdown in sales to South Africa, Latin America, Africa and Australia will be expected, especially the impact on consumer demand and spending.

The group is making cost savings and could sell its near 40 per cent stake in Tsogo Sun, the South African hotel and casino chain worth more than $1bn. At the same time, it is on the hunt for acquisitions, especially in southeast Asia.

● The momentum surrounding Daily Mail and General Trust has dissipated this year, with shares falling about 15 per cent since January, writes Henry Mance.

The company, owner of MailOnline as well as more profitable business information services, has been caught up in wider hesitancy around media stocks, as well as unwelcome news that risk management software would not be launched on schedule.

At first-half results, shareholders will hope for no more nasty surprises.

DMGT has pointed to underlying sales growth of about 6 per cent. Numis, house broker, estimates revenues were £910m in the six months to March, with adjusted profit before tax reaching £127.7m.

As for Zoopla, the property website half-owned by DMGT, there is unlikely to be much detail on its possible stock market listing.

Last Thursday, Euromoney, in which DMGT owns a stake, reported trading in line with management expectations. But DMGT’s shares fell more than 3 per cent on the day in a weak market.


Best Buy Q1 $0.197 ($0.36)

Daily Mail H1 23.45p (25.10p)

Raiffeisen Bank Q1 €0.52 (€0.53)

SABMiller FY $2.40 ($2.36) Q1 $0.21 (-$0.18)

Shareholder meeting

Deutsche Bank

Friday – May 23

Shareholder meeting

HSBC 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

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