United Utilities (Q4 trading update)
Investors will be anticipating the normal trading in line with expectations. There may also be a comment on electricity prices. Defensive stocks underperformed in the latter part of 2016, as the market post Trump concentrated on more growth areas and the potential for rising interest rates. However, this year the shares have been trending higher and are closing in on an all-time high. Currently the prospective yield is around 4%.
Wolseley (Q2 results)
The share price has moved higher since the US election on hopes for a boost to construction industry. Wolseley is highly geared to the US housing sector, where around 65% of its revenues and three-quarters of its trading profit are generated. Followers of the company will be keen to hear the group’s outlook regarding the region, along with the more subdued UK and Nordic markets. Wolseley’s focus remains on improving customer service, maintaining market share and margins, cutting costs and cash generation.
Saga (Q4 results)
Management are keen to move the company away from its main insurance and holiday services to other areas, such as taking commission from third parties who will use the brand name and new services such as SagaMoney. Investors will be hoping for an increase in the customer base as well as a further update regarding the Ogden rate decision, which in an earlier announcement it stated should not impact on the final dividend.
TUI (Q2 trading update)
The market will be interested to see how summer bookings are shaping up in this update from global tourism group TUI. In February the company reported a solid start to the year with a healthy level of advance bookings for the summer. Investors will also be looking out for any comments on expectations for a 10% increase in annual earnings this year, as previously stated, and an update on the discussions with Etihad Airways about a joint venture to create a new airline.
Companies reporting today include Chesnara (Q4 results)
Announcements w/c 27 March 2017
28 March US Consumer Confidence Index, March – Conference Board
This indicator of the US economy is closely watched, and last month the index hit 114.8, a 15 year high, pointing to robust growth in US consumer spending. Since then, an alternative measure of US consumer confidence, produced by the University of Michigan, and covering March, rose. Will the Conference Board measure reflect this, and in the process point to continued growth in US consumer spending?
31 March, Flash Euro area inflation, March – Eurostat
Inflation is picking up in the US, euro area and UK, but the flash reading from Eurostat provides the first piece of data covering inflation in March. In February, inflation in the euro area rose to 2%, from 1.8% the month before. Rising producer prices suggest further increases in inflation to follow. Did it rise again in March?
Further announcements include:
- Financial Services Sector survey – Confederation of British Industry
- Financial Policy Committee Statement following meeting of 22nd March – Bank of England
- US GDP, Q4 2016 – Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Balance of payments for the UK: October to December and annual 2016 – Office for National Statistics
- UK index of services, January – Office for National Statistics