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Companies Reporting: Ashtead, Whitbread, Berkeley, DS Smith


Look ahead to FTSE 350, other companies reporting & economic events from 17-21 June 2024.

  • Is Ashtead heading for a US listing?
  • Whitbread is hoping for a pick-up in demand
  • Berkeley looks to be building up its cash pile
  • Will DS Smith’s takeover be de-railed?

Ashtead, Full Year Results, Tuesday 18 June

Matt Britzman, equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown: Ashtead reports full-year results hot on the heels of rumours it may be looking to move its listing to the US. It’s partly because the bulk of its sales are made in the US, but hefty Wall Street valuations are also likely to be a draw.

Softer performance of late has fuelled concerns that the recent boom in rental demand and strong pricing for Ashtead’s construction equipment is starting to ease. Mega projects in the US, while being a strong demand driver, are causing some operational headaches. But Ashtead’s scale gives it an edge over competitors and guidance out of the recent capital markets day was encouraging.

Whitbread, Q1 Trading Statement, Tuesday 18 June

Derren Nathan, head of equity analysis, Hargreaves Lansdown: Whitbread’s commentary on trading in its recent results revealed that UK accommodation sales had slipped 1 % in the first seven weeks of this financial year. Sales had been impacted by the timing of public holidays, and management had pointed to an anticipated pick-up in demand. In next week’s first quarter results, investors will be looking to see if that’s yet been seen across the Premier Inn estate.

Also, watch out for an update on restructuring in the UK food and beverage arms where many of the standalone restaurants, which include the likes of Beefeater and Brewers’ Fayre, are up for sale or being converted into higher yielding hotel rooms. Meanwhile, Premier Inn Germany is due to hit the breakeven threshold this year, and investors will want to know if that milestone is still in sight.

Berkeley, Full Year Results, Wednesday 19 June

Aarin Chiekrie, equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown: UK housebuilders have been on the back foot in recent years, struggling against a period of inflationary and regulatory challenges. Berkeley hasn’t managed to avoid these issues, but it appears to have dealt with them better than most. Its London focus and high-end product, with an average sale price of £624,000 at the last count, means it offers something different to other large housebuilders.

In next week’s full-year results, analysts are expecting to see Berkeley deliver pre-tax profits of around £550mn. That’s in line with prior guidance but marks a 9% decline from the prior year as high mortgage rates have caused a relative lack of urgency among some buyers. Net cash levels will also be in focus. Back at the half-year mark, these were comfortably ahead of full-year targets, opening the door to feed cash back to shareholders through increased dividends and share buybacks.

DS Smith, Full Year Results, Thursday 20 June

Matt Britzman: It’s been quite the ride for DS Smith investors over the past few months as the takeover target for two of its key rivals. The board ultimately landed on an all-share offer from International Paper Company. But the drama doesn’t end there, International Paper Company itself is now subject to takeover talk, raising question marks about the implications on the DS Smith deal.

But underneath the takeover talk, lies a strong business. April’s statement suggested trading was in line with expectations so don’t expect too many surprises from full-year results. Price hikes and volume improvements are expected to help support earnings in the coming year. Longer-term, demand shifts like the move from plastic to paper should hold DS Smith in good stead.

This article has been brought to you in association with Hargreaves Lansdown. All opinions expressed in this article are from the analysts and do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Armchair Trader.

FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies scheduled to report

No FTSE 350 Reporters
Ashtead LON:AHT Full Year Results
SThree LON:STEM Half Year Trading Statement
Whitbread LON:WTB Q1 Trading Statement
Berkeley LON:BKG Full Year Results
NextEnergy Solar Fund [LON:NESF] Full Year Results
DS Smith LON:SMDS Full Year Results
Syncona [LON:SYNC] Full Year Results
Urban Logistics REIT LON:SHED Full Year Results
JLEN Environmental Assets [LON:JLEN] Full Year Results

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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