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The Week Ahead: 'Solid' results set to add extra shine to Randgold


It has been a glittering start to 2012 for Randgold Resources, with the soaring price of the yellow metal helping the digger rise roughly 13 per cent, and the miner will be hoping Monday's final results can push it higher. RBC's Jonathan Guy is expecting it to have enjoyed a "solid year" despite suffering a number of setbacks, such as the unrest in the Ivory Coast, and predicts it will still have managed to produce 688 koz of gold.

Results/Updates: EasyJet, Randgold Resources, RM and Workspace.


Back when it released its last update in October, BP said it had reached a turning point in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico tragedy, so the oil giant's fourth-quarter statement on Tuesday will show just how true this is.

Its annual strategy presentation will be held at the same time, and although legal proceedings in New Orleans over the spill are due to start in a matter of weeks, Credit Suisse believes the group will not discuss the trial or the chances of a settlement being reached with the US Department of Justice. Instead, the broker says BP will reiterate previous targets - such as its aim of achieving $38bn of asset sales - while also giving more details on its exploration plans.

Tomorrow also sees GlaxoSmithKline announce its full-year numbers, with the pharma giant's recent return to growth expected to have continued. Berenberg's analysts are forecasting sales to have risen to £7.85bn over the final quarter, up from the £7.1bn it managed during the previous three months.

Results/Updates: 888, Beazley, Bellway, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Low & Bonar, St Modwen Properties, TalkTalk, Tui Travel, Victrex, Wolfson Microelectronics, Xstrata.


Thomas Cook faces another test on Wednesday with the release of its first-quarter interim management statement at the same time as shareholders gather for its AGM. The troubled tour operator, which now trades on the small-cap index, has been hit by reports it suffered a sharp drop in bookings in the first weeks of January, so further details on trading in the wake of its financial difficulties will be vital.

Numis Securities' Wyn Ellis believes investors will also want to be reassured "that progress is being made with the debt reduction programme and that the banks remain supportive", with the analyst warning that the outlook remains "highly uncertain".

Results/Updates: BHP Billiton, DMGT, Dunelm, Future, Grainger, Homeserve, International Power, Reckitt Benckiser, SuperGroup and Thomas Cook.


BG becomes the latest of the major energy groups to update the market on Thursday, with the gas giant unveiling its fourth-quarter figures. Deutsche Bank warns that its upstream operations have suffered a "disappointing year", predicting that – despite BG initially suggesting production could rise by as much as 6 per cent – it will actually stay mainly flat.

Analysts from the broker also expect the debt on the company's balance sheet to have soared to roughly $11bn by the end of 2011, up from $7bn 12 months previously, as a result of a major increase in capital expenditure.

Results/Updates: BG Group, British Land, Catlin, Diageo, Enterprise Inns, Hargreaves Lansdown, McBride, Rank, Rio Tinto, Rolls-Royce, Shire, Tate & Lyle, Vodafone and WS Atkins.


With bankers' bonuses dominating the news over the past few weeks, the attention should switch to the sector's performance on Friday when Barclays becomes the first of the blue-chip names to reveal its 2011 results. Poor recent numbers from the US investment banks has created more than a few concerns over Barclays Capital, and Exane BNP Paribas believes the issues at the business will "dominate" the results.

Saying the last three months of the year will "have been a poor quarter", the broker expect Barcap to post a pre-tax loss for the period of £503m. The performance, says Exane, will "raise questions over the group's medium-term strategy", and it warns that "the market will need to hear positive comments about the revenue outlook if earnings downgrades are to be avoided".

Results/Updates: Barclays, Cable & Wireless Communications, Flybe, Shaftesbury and Zenergy Power.

Economics Diary

TODAY Car registration figures; US Federal budget balance.

TOMORROW BRC retail sales monitor; US consumer credit.

WEDNESDAY BRC shop price index; US crude oil inventories; US FOMC meeting minutes; US MBA mortgage applications.

THURSDAY Asset purchase facility; Bank of England interest rate decision; European Central Bank interest rate decision; Industrial production; Manufacturing production; NEISR GDP estimate; Trade balance; US unemployment data; US wholesale inventories.

FRIDAY PPI; US trade balance; US treasury budget statement; US University of Michigan consumer sentiment.