Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Aston Martin Lagonda
Full year results from Aston Martin [LON:AML] are out this morning, laying bare the extent of the shake down suffered by the company which only recently completed refinancing proposals. Revenues fell 10% but this had the impact of turning last year’s £72 million operating profit into a £36 million loss. 2020 is seen as a year of reset for the company, but the note also acknowledges the risk COVID19 poses to both the supply chain and also demand, especially in the Chinese market.
British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco [LON:BAT] has published full year numbers today too, showing revenues up 5.7% but earnings per share declining by over 5%. That figure has been skewed by a series of adjusting items apparently, but the outlook summary contains some interesting insight. It suggests that for 2020 volumes will be down 4%, although believes 3%-5% revenue improvement can be delivered and that margins can be improved, too. Investors are being sweetened with a 3.6% increase in dividends.
Some solid growth numbers from Standard Chartered [LON:STAN] are out today, too. Operating income is up 2%, driving an 8% increase in pre-tax profits, although it’s worth noting that the bank’s Return on Tangible Equity is still only at 6.4%, some way below that of its peers. The fact the company has put in this performance despite ongoing protests in Hong Kong and the uncertainty of the US-China trade war is providing some confidence that it can manage the COVID19 crisis too, although management acknowledge that getting RoTE to the 10% target will now take longer than had been previously thought. Regardless of this, investors will see a close on 30% uptick in dividend payments.
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