The Week Ahead: Kazakh and Tate & Lyle head for FTSE 100

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The Independent Online

The FTSE Quarterly Review on Wednesday will determine which companies fall out of, and which ones climb into, London's benchmark index of 100 leading shares. Kazakh Eurasian Natural Resour-ces, which has been buoyed by the worldwide rush for commodities and by Kazakhmys, the FTSE 100-listed miner which took an 18.8 per cent stake in the company, is expected to win a promotion, while Yell, the directory group behind the Yellow Pages, looks set for ejection, buckling under the pressure of competition from online rivals such as Google and Yahoo.

According to a forecast by the Edinburgh Tracker Team at Aberdeen Asset Managers, Taylor Wimpey, the FTSE-100 listed amalgam of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey, and Rentokil Initial, which re-entered the benchmark index in August, are also expected to lose their places in the reshuffle. The paper and distribution group Bunzl and Tate & Lyle, the sugar and sweetener group, are slated for a promotion.

The review, which takes effect in the last week of this month, will also cover the FTSE 250, where New Star Asset Management, Galliford Try, Severfield Rowen, Helphire, Headlam and the Restaurant Group are pegged for demotion. The Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer Melrose Res-ources and Hardy Oil & Gas, which has benefited from a string of discoveries in India and rumours of a bid from the Italian oil giant EN, look set for promotion, along with Fenner, the engineering company, and JP Morgan Russian Securities.



TODAY: The AIM-listed technology services company Financial Objects is due to publish its preliminary results. Evolution Sec-urities expects to hear news of "another year of out-performance" with a strong fourth quarter in the banking division, where the company won major licences in South Africa and in the Nordic region. The wealth management and energy divisions are also forecast to demonstrate a strong second-half performance after a number of licence wins.

Investors in Oxford Biomedica, which is also due to publish its results today, will be looking out for an update on TroVax, the company's cancer treatment. Updates on ProSavin, a treatment for Parkinson's disease, and MetXia, another cancer treatment, will also help the market gauge the firm's prospects.

Results/Updates: Bovis Homes, Telecity, Petrofac, Oxford Biomedica, Financial Objects.



TOMORROW: The metals and mining group Antofagasta is due to update the market. Consensus forecasts are for the company to post profits before tax for 2007 of $2.791bn. Turn-over is expected to be around $3.868bn, while operating profit is forecast to come in around $2.732bn.

Elsewhere, analysts at Deutsche Bank do not expect Cookson to deliver any surprises in its 2007 res-ults. Deutsche forecasts group revenues for the year to the end of December 2007 to come in at £1.605bn, while earnings before interest, tax and amortisation are expected to be £170m.

Results are also due from Friends Provident. Invest-ors will be watching for an update on its strategic plans, and will also be keen to hear about any progress on a possible offer from JC Flowers, the American private equity firm that was reported to be considering a bid for the business.

Results/Updates: Amec, Ark Therapeutics, Chime Communications, Friends Provident, Greggs, Interserve, Trafficmaster, Weir, Cookson, Antofagasta.



WEDNESDAY: French Connection, the retailer made famous by its FCUK advertising campaign, held a longer than usual winter sale recently, prompting some analysts to revise their expectations for the business downwards. Deutsche Bank notes that a recovery at French Connection "requires top-line growth" but "industry conditions are clearly unfavourable" for such progress. Investors will no doubt reach their own conclusions when the company publishes its results.

Results/Updates: Aer Lingus, BPP Holdings, Hoch-schild Mining, Standard Life, Tullow Oil, French Connection.



THURSDAY: The supermarket chain Wm Morrison is due to publish its full-year results amid speculation that it will announce its first ever share buy-back.

Analysts at Credit Suisse expect the company to rep-ort full-year pre-tax profits of £550m. The figure is equivalent to £570m on the company's reported basis, as, unlike Credit Suisse's estimate, that will include £20m of tax rebates. The bank's estimate also excludes £30m of exceptional property profits. ABN Amro, whose analysts expect capital returns to feature on the agenda on Thursday, expects a similar figure (£570m, excluding property profits).

Results/Updates: Charter, Dignity, Ecosecurities, Pro-Strakan, SIG, Premier Oil, Morrisons.



FRIDAY: Results are due from Aga Foodservice, which appointed former House of Fraser boss John Coleman as its chief executive last week. The company sold its foodservice business for £260m this year and most analysts expect to hear news of turnover of around £290m.

Results/Updates: Aga Foodservice, Collins Stewart, Prudential.

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