The Week Ahead: The current forecast for Ocado’s earnings is £42m for 2013


Laura Chesters
Monday 03 February 2014 03:50 GMT

Disappointing sales growth at Apple last week gave investors in Arm Holdings something to think about ahead of tomorrow’s fourth-quarter update. Arm designs the microchips in smartphones and licenses them to makers such as Apple. Investec’s analysts warn that royalty revenue is likely to have weakened. Investec forecast sales of $292.6m, compared to the company compiled consensus of $293.2m, with pre-tax profit of £94.5m and $137m sales.

The online grocer Ocado was a star performer last year – shares are up more than 500 per cent since December 2012. Its full-year results tomorrow are expected to be strong, but analysts are concerned that its shares have already got ahead of themselves. Its deal to run the supermarket Morrisons online operation has won fans. The consensus forecast for earnings is £42m for 2013 with predictions of £75m for 2014.

Britain’ biggest online investment broker caused concern when, in line with regulations, it revealed details of its 0.45 per cent annual fee for its Vantage fund this month. Rivals issued deals undercutting this fee and there were concerns that Hargreaves Lansdown could lose customers. Nevertheless its first-half results on Wednesday are expected to be strong. Analysts at Peel Hunt expect Hargreaves’ overall proposition to remain “difficult to beat” and they expect “strong interim results”.

By Thursday it is telecoms company Vodafone’s third-quarter results and Deutsche Bank expects organic growth to “flat line”, with a 4.9 per cent decline in organic revenue. But M&A activity is of more interest after rumoured US suitor AT&T said it did not intend to lodge a takeover bid.

Also on Thursday is retailer SuperGroup’s third-quarter results and analysts expect trading will have slowed. Peel Hunt expects retail sales growth of 14.6 per cent for the quarter to £110m, slowing from the 20 per cent reported in the previous quarter. But Peel points out that investors shouldn’t panic as the Superdry owner “historically has not performed as well in the January sale period”.

The week is finished off with the central London landlord Shaftesbury. Numis analyst Chris Spearing said: “Demand for Shaftesbury’s units remains robust.”

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