The Week Ahead: BSkyB to reap benefit of high-definition TV

Analysts are looking forward to another strong set of results from British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), the pay-television group which is due to post its half-year results on Thursday. Key performance indicators are expected to have remained strong, with Charles Stanley anticipating news of 165,000 net new pay-TV subscribers during the company's second quarter, while UBS expects to hear of 180,000 net additions. Numis is slightly behind with a forecast of 159,000.

BSkyB's high-definition TV offer is expected to have been driver of subscriber growth, with Charles Stanley forecasting a net 285,000 HD users to have been added, while Numis foresees 313,000 net HD additions. "BSkyB has marketed particularly heavily in the second quarter, including an offer of a free HD box for customers who took a movies subscription, and we therefore view our subscriber forecasts as conservative," Numis said, repeating its "buy" stance on the stock last week.

Charles Stanley, which maintains an "accumulate" rating on BSkyB shares, said there had been few signs to date that the company was affected by the recession. It added: "Subscriber growth has actually accelerated in recent quarters, reflecting the introduction of innovative technologies (for example, HD) and perhaps increased demand among consumers for relatively inexpensive entertainment in their own homes."



Today: Filtronic, the telecoms technology company, is due to issue interim results this morning, and although demand from customers is likely to have improved, business from Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), one of Filtronic's larger customers, "is likely to have continued to be highly suppressed", according to Panmure Gordon.

"We believe much of Filtronic's demand from NSN has been driven from wireless network rollouts in India. This activity was buoyant until [the third quarter of 2008], where there was a pause due to the financial crisis," the broker said. "While there has been some recovery in the latter part of [2009], NSN has also suffered from market-share losses and has needed to digest inventory. This is likely to have driven continued low levels of demand for Filtronic from NSN."

Results/updates: Filtronic.



Tomorrow: Playtech may issue a "solid" update, with Numis pointing out that the normal seasonal uptick in activity has been "clearly apparent" in recent results from online gaming companies. "[Playtech's rival] 888 reported that fourth-quarter trading had been 'strong' and in line with management's expectations, while PartyGaming reported solid current trading and a return to sequential revenue growth in all product verticals," the broker said.

Also tomorrow, UBS expects few surprises when Sage issues its first-quarter interim management statement, with trading at the software house likely to be in line with its expectations. Numis also anticipates an in-line statement. "We anticipate no figures being disclosed except net debt, which we expect to be about £400m at December 2009 versus £439m at September 2009," Numis said.

Results/updates: Porvair, PZ Cussons, Intermediate Capital, Sage and Playtech.

Wednesday: Numis expects a "relatively upbeat announcement" when the precision-engineering group Renishaw posts interim results. "Leading indicators, in particular Japanese machine-tool orders, have pointed to improving trends and recent data would suggest stronger revenues for Renishaw through its second quarter," the broker said. It forecast an order run-rate of £14m per month from October, pointing to £3m in interim pre- tax profits.

Altium was also hopeful, saying: "Demand is expected to remain robust and, while some increase in cost should be expected, we believe the group will be more cautious than in past cycles and this could accelerate the rate of recovery in pre-tax profits."

Results/updates: Tullow Oil, Britvic, WHSmith and Renishaw.



THURsday: UBS is upbeat ahead of AstraZeneca's full-year numbers, which are due later this week. The broker expects the drug company's fourth-quarter sales to rise to $9.02bn (£5.6bn), up 9.9 per cent year on year, while earnings per share are forecast to swell to $1.61 (£1), up 8.1 per cent year on year.

"We believe the stock should perform through the numbers. Astra has posted three consecutive quarters beating consensus by more than 15 per cent on core earnings per share," UBS said. "We also see scope for it to announce plans for the use of its cash, such as a new share buyback, an increase in dividends, or new plans for sustainable growth from bolt on acquisitions."

Results/updates: Cairn Energy, Eaga, JJB Sports, AstraZeneca and British Sky Broadcasting.



FRIDAY: Results/updates: None scheduled.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent