The Week Ahead: 'Most shorted' Carillion to issue fourth-quarter statement

Almost 18 per cent of Carillion’s shares are on loan to short-sellers

Jamie Nimmo
Monday 07 December 2015 01:11
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Investors will get a health check from the most shorted stock on the market, Carillion, when the construction services firm issues a fourth-quarter statement.

Morgan Stanley reckons it will meet expectations, but will be watching for signs of weakness in the Middle East, which has been hurt by falling oil prices. The broker thinks this region, which the company claimed at the half-year stage had been unaffected, makes up 14 per cent of revenues.

“It is likely that some areas will be impacted … with Oman the main risk,” Morgan Stanley analyst Allen Wells said.

Almost 18 per cent of Carillion’s shares are on loan to short-sellers – investors betting that the share price will fall. They upped their wagers against the company after last year’s failed takeover of Balfour Beatty, amid concerns about the oil price, slowing growth and pension deficit.

Half-year results from Sports Direct are due on Thursday. An upbeat trading statement from sporting goods retailer JD Sports raised concerns that its success had come at the expense of Sports Direct, whose shares fell.

Grocery delivery firm Ocado has a fourth-quarter trading statement due on the same day.

Half-year results are also due on Thursday from posh handbag maker Mulberry, which will reveal how the turnaround is going for chief executive Thierry Andretta, who took the reins in April.

Annual results on Thursday for TUI, the group behind Thomson and First Choice, will show how the tour operator has fared since it halted flights to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt after the downing of a Russian plane. Deutsche Bank said: “We believe any potential costs can be absorbed, like the Tunisia impact was, and don’t see any material changes to group guidance of at least 10 per cent underlying growth.”

On Wednesday, half-year results are due from tool hire firm Ashtead and bus-to-trains group Stagecoach.

The following day, there is a third-quarter trading statement scheduled for the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee owner Whitbread, amid concerns over the rise of the so-called disruptors, such as Airbnb.

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