The Week Ahead: Telecity to show earnings strength but risks loom

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The Independent Online


Telecity kicks off the week with the release of its full-year results, and Liberum Capital is expecting a strong set of numbers from the data centre operator. The broker's analysts are predicting its earnings-per-share will have risen to 24p, while they also note that last November the group said it planned to start paying a dividend this year.

However, they do warn of a number of upcoming risks that are not in the share price, predicting – among other headwinds – a pricing growth slowdown and increasing competition.

Results/Updates: Kofax, Monitise and Telecity.


Could InterContinental's investors be in line for a treat on Tuesday? Many in the City believe the strength of the hotel group's balance sheet means additional cash returns could be on the horizon, either through a share buyback or an increase to the dividend, and tomorrow's results may provide a good opportunity.

In terms of the numbers, market expectations are for last year's operating earnings to total $544m (£345m), which would be a year-on-year jump of over 20 per cent. Panmure Gordon's analysts also expect the company to be upbeat on how 2012 has started, highlighting encouraging recent data from the hotel industry in the US.

Results/Updates: Fidessa, Hargreaves Services, InterContinental Hotels, Pennon and Yell.


Since dropping to an eight-month low just before Christmas, Sports Direct has been on the rise ever since. The retailer announces its third-quarter update on Wednesday and is expected to reveal that its retail sales growth – especially in the UK – has continued to be strong.

Singer Capital Markets believes the group could have managed a rise of as much as 13 per cent, although the broker warns that the performance of its brands and its newly acquired chains Cruise and USC will be rather less impressive.

Also in focus on Wednesday will be Domino's, with the pizza delivery company announcing its preliminary results, and Collins Stewart's Wayne Brown is not expecting major upgrades given the firm's in-line trading update at the start of the year.

In terms of the details, the analyst believes margin growth will not be as strong as Domino's has managed before, while he also warns that this year "could prove equally challenging" considering the current difficulties facing consumers.

Results/Updates: Domino's Pizza, Morgan Crucible, Thorntons, Sports Direct.


It looks set to be a busy week for BAE Systems. Before the arms dealer's full-year results on Thursday there is the important matter of President Obama's budget request, which is due to be published today, and given that the US is BAE's largest market, comments on defence spending will be closely watched.

Hit by military budget cuts, Espirito Santo is expecting the group's revenues to have dropped nearly 12 per cent over 2011 to £19.8bn, although the broker believes the figures will "establish a template for resumed earnings growth from 2012 onwards".

Thursday is also Gavin Darby's first set of results as boss of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW), with the troubled telecoms group unveiling its interim management statement. Former Vodafone executive Mr Darby was appointed to return CWW to profitable growth, but may end up fending off speculation of a £700m bid from his old employer.

Results/Updates: African Barrick Gold, BAE Systems, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Halma, Kingfisher, Ladbrokes, Reed Elsevier and Talvivaara.


Having released an update little more than a month ago – when the engineer pleased the market by estimating its adjusted operating profit last year will have jumped 40 per cent – there should be few extra surprises from Spectris' preliminary results on Friday.

Despite having spent £360m on acquisitions, Numis Securities' Scott Cagehin still believes the group will finish the year with net debt of £340m, although the analyst also predicts that 2012 will see "a return to more normal sales growth ... as it starts to face tougher comparatives".

Results/Updates: Anglo American, S&U, Severn Trent and Spectris.

Economics Diary

TODAY CML regulated mortgage survey.

TOMORROW Consumer price index (CPI); Eurozone industrial production; Retail price index; RICS house price balance; US business inventories; US import prices.

WEDNESDAY Average weekly earnings data; Bank of England inflation report; Eurozone trade balance; Unemployment data; US Federal Open Market Committee minutes; US industrial production; US MBA mortgage applications.

THURSDAY European Central Bank monthly report; US housing starts; US initial jobless claims; US producer price index.

FRIDAY Eurozone current account; Retail sales; US CPI.