Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Smith & Nephew
There’s a Q4 update from Smith & Nephew [LON:SN] out this morning. The company is arguably something of an outlier when it comes to the medical sector as COVID is pressuring performance. The company’s orthopaedic division supports elective surgeries that have typically been side-lined by the pandemic, although the advance wound and trauma business has been more resilient. Q4 revenues are expected to be down 7%, with full year revenues now expected to be 12% lower.
There’s also a trading update out from JD Sports [LON:JD] this morning and the baked-in profit upgrade will provide some cheer for investors. For the full year to Jan 31st, forecasts had been for a profit in the region of £295m to be posted – the company now expects that number to be at least £400m, even in light of operational restrictions caused by the latest lockdown. The company adds that it expects stores in the UK to remain closed until at least Easter although guides that profits for the coming year will add a further 10% to the forthcoming figure.
Finally, a note from easyJet [LON:EZJ] who have this morning advised the market they have received a £1.4bn loan from the UK government across the next five years. Perhaps for investors the most critical line in the note is regarding dividends. Although loans of this nature come with restrictive covenants around shareholder payments, these are apparently compatible with the existing dividend policy. This takes the total additional liquidity secured since the beginning of the pandemic to £4.5bn.
Sign up for three quick facts and more with our Free Daily Digest newsletter, every weekday morning.