Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. HSBC Holdings posts solid results but falls short of estimates
HSBC Holdings [LON:HSBA] has posted solid full year results this morning, with profits more than doubling, although falling just short of consensus analyst estimates. The company had made some generous impairment provisions over COVID-related losses and these have come in far lower than had been expected, delivering a $900m boost to the bottom line, although defaults in China’s commercial real estate sector are set to take a toll, regardless. A dividend of $0.18 and a $1 billion share buyback has also been announced.
#2. Intercontinental Hotels continues to battle effects of COVID
Full year numbers are also out from Holiday Inn owner Intercontinental Hotels [LON:IHG]. The company continues to battle what seems likely to be a long tail of COVID, with average revenue per room still only at 70% of 2019 levels, although management note that this is a case of continuous improvement across the trading period. The addition of new properties into the estate also continues apace offering more signs of confidence over the future but will investors be left underwhelmed by this update?
#3. Synectics sees return to profitability
AIM listed Synectics [LON:SNX] was on our radar last night as the junior market’s biggest riser on the day and this morning has issued full year results. Whilst these don’t show anything out of the ordinary – the anticipated return to profitability for the second half of the year was achieved and investors are set to be rewarded with a 1.5p dividend.
One final note – markets seem likely to be set for another turbulent session, following what now appears to be an admission that at least the UK government will impose sanctions on Russian businesses. The potential knock on effects here are significant, both for Russian companies listed on overseas markets and also for those who are reliant on imports from Russia which can easily be curtailed as a retaliatory measure.