Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a trading update from JD Wetherspoon [LON:JDW] out this morning, but in something of a diversion from usual form, the accompanying comments from founder Tim Martin take a far more measured tone. Back to the numbers which cover the 15 week period to November 8th and as such only just touches into the latest lockdown across England. Like for like sales decreased 27.6% year-on-year, but following liquidity boosting measures, the company now has £234m worth of headroom with current cash burn (most outlets closed) of £14m a month. Liquidity is higher and current liabilities are lower when compared to the position before the first lockdown.
BAE Systems [LON:BA] has published a trading statement, which is generally upbeat. Operationally the company says it is navigating the challenges of COVID 19 well and defence spending amongst major clients worldwide remains strong. Sales guidance remains unchanged from that seen with the interim results, but underlying EPS is expected to be slightly higher than forecast with a good operational performance and lower effective tax rate offsetting exchange rate headwinds.
McCarthy and Stone
McCarthy and Stone [LON:MCS] has published a trading update for the full year. The company received a buy-out offer from a private equity house in late October, which caused some consternation given the historical performance of the company. That remains on the table and it means that the company hasn’t found any support off upbeat market sentiment this week. The Chief Executive – who supports the takeover bid – is therefore left to walk a fine line. His tactful comments note that in the longer term they remain “excited by significant market opportunities” but that with COVID rates rising and lockdown measures in place, the retirement housing market is expected to remain difficult.
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