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Companies Reporting: AB Foods, AstraZeneca, Burberry, Disney, Persimmon


Here’s our regular look at the FTSE 350 and a selection of other companies reporting from 8 to 12 November

  • Primark continues to be the jewel in Associated British Foods crown
  • We’ll be looking for a positive sales impact from AstraZeneca’s Alexion acquisition
  • Taylor Wimpey look to overcome pressures from inflation, supply challenges and potential interest rate hikes
  • Ted Baker looks to capitalise on rising high street footfall, offsetting the headwind form price hikes
  • Persimmon’s ability to hold onto buoyant profit margins will be key
  • Disney’s theme parks are expected to keep spinning revenues upwards
  • There will be a focus on the Chinese and European markets for Burberry

Associated British Foods, Full Year Results, Tuesday 9 November

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst

“Primark has once again proved to be the jewel in Associated British Foods [LON: ABF] crown with trading well ahead of expectations and hitting new sales records since stores reopened with a bang. Although questions have been raised about the lack of an e-commerce presence, Primark’s performance so far appears to be proof that demand for Primark’s in store experience endures, with the help of savvy social marketing campaigns. Investors will want to see Primark’s prowess in good stock management continue as avoiding excess discounting has helped protect margins. Although sales in the Grocery division have appeared to be on the wane, it’s partly because of comparisons to the start of the pandemic when stockpiling was all the rage, so overall the performance has been robust. There will inevitably be worries that supply chain issues could cause a headache, so any signs of particular resilience on this front will be eagerly sought.”

Persimmon, Q3 Trading Statement, Tuesday 9 November

Steve Clayton, Manager of the HL Select Funds

Persimmon [LON: PSN] and the other major housebuilders have enjoyed a pretty strong first half of the year, but now there are question marks over how long the housing market’s Goldilocks moment can continue for. Wage pressures are bubbling away, materials costs have spiked, and expectations are that interest rates will soon begin to rise. For the moment, we expect demand for new housing to remain solid. Looking forward, Persimmon’s commentary on their ability to hold onto buoyant profit margins will be key.”

Disney, Full Year Results, Wednesday 10 November

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst

Disney [NYSE: DIS] has shown it’s begun to turn a corner after profits at the House of Mouse took a hammering during the pandemic. Hopes will be riding high that the group’s theme parks will keep spinning revenues upwards, as Disney fans of all ages head back to see their favourite characters in fantasy lands and on cruises, now that travel restrictions have eased further. Of course Disney is not just about rollercoasters and parades anymore given that its streaming business has proved phenomenally successful. Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ have gained huge ground on Netflix and investors will be watching out for those subscriber growth numbers, keen to see this smaller but expanding side of the business build further scale.”

Burberry, Half Year Results, Thursday 11 November

Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst

“These are the first Burberry [LON:BRBY] results to be revealed since the announcement that the Versace boss Jonathan Akeroyd will be stepping into Marco Gobbetti’s shoes next year as CEO. News of his appointment didn’t set shares alight, but he does have a proven track record in building global brands and his successful tenure at Versace is testament to that reputation. As well as Gobbetti’s departure, worries about a slowdown in China, a lucrative market for luxury brands had also been dragging down the share price. So investors will be keen to watch out for any fresh indications about consumer confidence there. Europe has also been a weak spot for the company, with comparable store sales still sharply lower than two years ago but there are hopes that the re-opening of the travel sector and less onerous testing requirements for tourists, could lure back big spenders.”

Taylor Wimpey, Trading Update, Thursday 11 November

Matt Britzman, Equity Analyst

“An aggressive approach to land-buying in the second half of 2020, when others were closing their chequebooks, sets Taylor Wimpey [LON: TW] apart from peers. It’s a move that could yield strong returns. But the fruits of that investment will take years to ripen and rely on the housing market remaining strong. There are some short-term headwinds on that front. Government incentives have been reined in, and the sector is facing an additional tax as well. Meanwhile expectations of an interest rate hike in December or February have the potential to slow buyer activity.  We’ll be keeping an eye out for average sales price, something that’s been on an upward trend recently. Any commentary from management on the impact of inflation on both labour and material costs will also be of interest, given its potential to hit margins.”

Ted Baker, Half Year Results, Thursday 11 November

Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

“The return to offices at the end of September means there may be some relief for Ted Baker’s [LON: TED] high street shop locations.  However, whether that’s enough to convince shoppers to splash out on the group’s formal and event driven clothing is yet to be seen. In particular the group has struggled to get buyers to pick up clothes at full price after a period of heavy discounting last year. Developing a reputation for regular sales is a sure-fire way to trash margins – so recovering a premium position is crucial longer term. Online sales are also worth close scrutiny. Digital sales are increasingly the norm in fashion retail across the spectrum – but Ted has lost ground now prices have returned to normal. If that trend continues into the third quarter the group will face serious questions.”

AstraZeneca, Q3 Trading Statement, Friday 12 November

Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst

AstraZeneca’s [LON: AZN] position at the centre of the fight against the pandemic has been a boon to the public but a burden to the company, which promised not to profit from the vaccine during the pandemic. This is proving an expensive promise to keep, with R&D and distribution costs eating into margins.  Now that the Delta wave has peaked across most of the globe, we’re expecting Astra to start laying out a path to profitability from this part of its portfolio. The group’s hinted at charging flexible prices based on countries’ income levels. We’ll also be looking for commentary on Alexion sales after the acquisition of the rare-disease specialist completed back in July. The five main treatments that came under the Alexion umbrella should benefit from Astra’s distribution capabilities and we’d like to see progress on that front to justify the hefty price tag of the acquisition.”

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

Sirius Real Estate Half Year Results
Ultra Electronics Q3 Trading Statement
3l Infrastructure Half Year Results
Associated British Foods Full Year Results
DCC Full Year Results
Direct Line Q3 Trading Statement
Land Securities Half Year Results
Oxford Instruments Half Year Results
Persimmon Q3 Trading Statement
Watches of Switzerland  Q2 Trading Statement
AVEVA Group Half Year Results
Disney Full Year Results
Grafton Group Trading Update
Halfords Interim Results
ITV Q3 Trading Statement
Marks and Spencer Group Half Year Results
3i Group Half Year Results
Assura Half Year Results
Auto Trader Half Year Results
Aviva* Q3 Trading Statement
B&M European Value Retail Half Year Results
Burberry Half Year Results
Endeavour Mining Q3 Trading Statement
Mediclinic International Half Year Results
Qinetiq Half Year Results
Syncona Half Year Results
Taylor Wimpey Trading Update
Ted Baker Half Year Results
Vesuvius Q3 Trading Statement
WH Smith Trading Update
Youngs Half Year Results
AstraZeneca Q3 Trading Statement
Deutsche Telekom Q3 Trading Statement

This article is 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.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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