The Week Ahead: ARM's prospects linked to sales growth at Apple

Shares in the chip-maker ARM Holdings have been much in demand in recent weeks after rumours of a potential takeover resurfaced. That chat, along with a good contract win with Samsung, almost sent the Cambridge-based company's shares to an eight-year high in September.

ARM makes chips that go in smartphones and tablets, perhaps most significantly in Apple's iPhone and iPad. In fact, Apple is the company normally pencilled in as ARM's most likely buyer. The appetite for smartphones appears undiminished, and the iPad has been hugely successful, prompting the launch of a raft of rival tablet devices. Yet last week ARM's shares were adversely affected as Apple indicated that, despite its popularity, the iPad had not hit sales targets.

ARM's full-year earnings per share is expected to be twice last year's figure and investors will be keen to learn the forecasts for its crucial markets in 2011 when it announces its third-quarter numbers tomorrow.



Today

The publisher Pearson will issue a third-quarter trading update. Mark Braley, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said the group was the only one of its European peers "to actually give useful information" in its Q3s.

The third quarter is the key selling season in the school-books market, Mr Braley said, but this year's trends have already been well flagged. Instead, he will be looking for guidance on Pearson's "visibility" in next year's education market, given the pressure from the state funding crisis, and any sales opportunities stemming from federal stimulus measures in the US.

Other unknowns include whether Pearson will make use of its strong balance sheet, and whether there are succession plans for its chief executive, Marjorie Scardino.

Results/Updates: Pearson.



Tomorrow

Results/Updates: Aquarius Platinum; ARM Holdings; Braemar Shipping Services; Jazztel; Mitchells & Butlers; Subsea 7.



Wednesday

Virgin Media issues its third-quarter numbers this week and, much like its rival, British Sky Broadcasting, has benefited from the increase in high-definition television channels.

Investors will be hoping Virgin can follow the record growth it posted in the second quarter, when sales rose by 7 per cent. The market will also be looking for more news about the disposal of Virgin's 50 per cent stake in UKTV, which owns channels including Dave and Gold, as well as the take-up of its 50Mb broadband service.

Also reporting third-quarter numbers on Wednesday is British American Tobacco. Julian Hardwick, an analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland, expects a more moderate decline in organic volumes than in previous quarters. He expects that overall volumes will be supported by hoarding in Japan before a significant excise-tax increase. This is significant for BAT because it has 10.4 per cent of the Japanese cigarette market. Mr Hardwick believes the shares look fully valued but that if it delivers strong organic growth they could push higher in the short term.

Results/Updates: British American Tobacco; CSR; First Derivatives; Willis Group Holdings; Virgin Media.



Thursday

Analysts at Deutsche Bank expect that AstraZeneca will struggle to match the performance of its past two quarters, when it beat consensus estimates, as it issues its latest figures. Mark Clark, of the German broker, said the third quarter was comparatively very tough and the pharmaceuticals company's earnings per share should show a marked decline.

"We do not expect AstraZeneca to raise the upper end of its full-year core earnings-per-share guidance range," he said. Some of the group's biggest drug brands face pressure from generic competition.

Mr Clark also noted that Astra also enjoyed a $152m earnings "windfall" from its H1N1 bird flu vaccine in the third quarter of 2009. There is little news expected for the rest of the year beyond the US Food and Drug Administration's long-awaited decision on Astra's experimental blood thinner, Brilinta, in December.

The specialist chemicals group Croda also has numbers out this week. Martin Evans, at JPMorgan Cazenove, believes it has found "a counter-cyclical niche through new product innovation". He reckons Croda should report continued trading strength, and he forecasts third-quarter sales of £252m, up from £213m a year ago. Brokers at Liberum have recently touted Croda as a takeover target.

Results/Updates: Ashmore Group; AstraZeneca; Croda International; Go Ahead Group; Mouchel Group; Premier Foods; Rugby Estates; William Hill.



Friday

British Airways is set to report its second-quarter results. Deutsche Bank forecasts operating profits of £282m compared with an operating loss of £72m in the first quarter, when the UK's flag-carrier airline was hit by the effects of Iceland's volcanic ash cloud and strike action by BA cabin crew.

Results/Updates: British Airways; F&C Asset Management; Sabien Technology Group; Shire Pharmaceuticals; WPP Group.

Today: British Bankers' Association mortgage approvals for September; Confederation of British Industry conference; speech by Mervyn King.



Tomorrow: UK Q3 gross domestic product.

Wednesday: None



Thursday: Confederation of British Industry distributive trades survey.



Friday: UK mortgage approvals for September.

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Telesales & Sales Support Apprentice

£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...

Client Relationship Manager - SQL, Python

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...

**Financial Services Tax**

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit