The Week Ahead: Bwin.Party and suitor 888 Holdings to unveil half-year results

Rival gambling group Paddy Power is also set to reveal its half-year results

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Online betting firm Bwin.Party and suitor 888 Holdings go head-to-head on Friday as the pair unveil half-year results.

Bwin, whose brands include Partypoker, had accepted an £898m takeover offer from 888 before Sportingbet owner GVC crashed the party with a higher bid. Reports suggest GVC could up its offer to as much as £1.1bn to convince Bwin to accept the leftfield option of GVC.

Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram said: “At the very least we would expect 888 to come through with a material increase to its synergy target and possibly a top-up to narrow the gap.”

Investors will be looking for clues as to which potential buyer Bwin is swaying towards.

Rival gambling group Paddy Power is set to reveal its half-year results on Wednesday, while gambling software firm Playtech, which is close to completing its takeover of online trading firm Plus500, brings six-month figures out on Thursday.

In the latest health check of the bruised mining sector, heavyweight BHP Billiton will unveil its annual results tomorrow.

Liberum analyst Richard Knights says the focus will be its capital spending plans amid the downturn in commodity prices. “We expect further aggressive capital cuts to below $7bn to preserve its ‘solid A’ credit rating,” he said.

Analysts expect copper miner Antofagasta’s half-year results tomorrow to show underlying earnings just shy of $600m (£380m).

First-half figures from Evraz will show the extent of the damage for the Russian steelmaker on Thursday, the same day that Peter Hambro’s Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk brings out half-year results.

Beleaguered energy services firms are also due to report results. Half-year results are out tomorrow from Petrofac, Wednesday from Cape, and Thursday from Amec Foster Wheeler and Lamprell.

Investors should expect a “buoyant tone” from management in Carillion’s half-year results on Wednesday after a string of new contract wins, according to Brewin Dolphin’s Iain Armstrong.

Other half-year results come from ad giant WPP and embattled tool hire group HSS Hire.

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