Clarkson (Q4 results)
The company is a leading provider of specialist shipping services and has been growing its market share, as a result of its full-service client offering. However, shipping is a cyclical business and currently the outlook for global shipping markets remains uncertain. Investors will be concentrating on the group’s outlook and, with the share price hovering close to a 12 month high, hoping for some positive news.
Antofagasta (Q4 results)
We have already had the 2016 production numbers which were on the whole quite encouraging as copper production rose by 12.5% and gold production rose by 27%. However, copper prices remained subdued throughout most of 2016 which will hold back revenues from this commodity. Meanwhile, the turbulent condition in global financial markets meant that gold prices faired a bit better and should give a spur to revenues. Like most other large miners, the large cuts in costs, major capex expenditures and fewer asset impairments will boost the reported profit figures. It will be worth noting management’s thoughts on the ongoing industrial disputes faced by copper miners and how they will impact production.
Prudential (Q4 results)
We should see a continuation of the momentum we saw during the 9 month interim report where the firm reported a 19% increase in new business profit as the group continues to benefit from opportunities in the UK, US and Asian markets. Investors will lookout for the solvency II ratio along with the total funds under management that its M&G business pulls in. Investors should expect the dividend to rise in the region of about 5%.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (Q4 results)
Hikma has had trouble with its recent acquisition which was renamed West Ward Columbus so investors will be keen to see if any positive changes are materialising. In the last trading update it reduced its guidance for the Generics business for 2016 but kept a positive outlook for 2017. Investors will therefore be keen for an update here and a guidance of what drug launches are likely to be made. It also reported difficulties due to the weakness of the Egyptian pound.
Sainsbury (J) (Q4 trading update)
Given the fierceness of competition in the sector, Sainsbury continues to perform relatively well with market share at 16.5%. Investors will be keen to hear an update on the recent Home Retail acquisition and that Sainsbury remains on track with its cost savings. Other areas to concentrate on will be the online performance and convenience stores operations. The share price has been trending higher since last July as concerns lessen over the possible consequences of Brexit.
Announcements w/c 13 March 2017:
15 March, 2017, Federal Open Market Committee Meeting, Two-day meeting, March 14-15 – Fed.
Will the Fed announce an increase in interest rates today? With US inflation rising, the chances are good. More to the point, will the announcement that follows the meeting see any hints about further increases in US rates later in the year?
15 March, 2017, UK labour market statistics: March 2017 – Office for National Statistics.
In the three months to December, UK unemployment barely changed compared to the previous three-month period, and employment rose by 37,000. However, average wages, both with and without bonuses, rose by 2.6 per cent. UK inflation was 1.8%. While UK inflation rose, the rate of increase in average wages fell, will the gap between inflation and wage increases, a measure of growth in real wages, continue to fall? How close are we to seeing negative growth in real wages?
16 March, Monetary Policy Summary and minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting ending on 15 March 2017 – Bank of England.
Although UK inflation is picking up at the moment, core inflation, which excludes food, energy and tobacco, and which the Bank of England tends to pay more attention to when reviewing monetary policy, remains largely in check. A change in interest rates is not likely to be announced today.
Further announcements include:
• Labour market economic commentary, March 2017 – Office for National Statistics
• US Consumer Price Index, February 2017 – Bureau of Labor Statistics
• US Real Earnings, February 2017 – Bureau of Labor Statistics
• EU inflation, February – Office for National Statistics