Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s COVID-19 trading update out from Speedy Hire [LON:SDY] this morning, which highlights how the business is faring against the current backdrop. Whilst trading levels at the end of March were impacted and some business areas operating at reduced activity levels, many projects are continuing, new opportunities are emerging and others are accelerating as economic conditions permit. As a result, the Group has to date retained a substantial proportion of its revenues entering its new financial year. Guidance has been suspended and costs have been trimmed, so with an adequate debt buffer and the company also involved in projects such as the establishment of the NHS Nightingale hospitals across the country, this could be a stock to watch.
A trading update from Diageo [LON:DGE] notes the impact of social distancing measures and the effect this is having on shifting business to the off-trade. The company’s global footprint does mean that it’s starting to see a slow rebound in mainland China as bars and restaurants reopen there, but perhaps most critically the company’s planned return of capital programme has been suspended and won’t resume before the end of the financial year.
A trading update from Naked Wines [LON:WINE] to round things off before the long weekend notes that the COVID-19 lockdown has seen heightened demand from consumers across UK, US and Australian operations. As a result the company is finishing the year with ‘good momentum’ and expects full year revenues to be ahead of the targeted £200m. The lockdown and consequent shift in consumer behaviour has the potential to prove transformative for companies like this, bringing their products and service level to the attention of a new audience, although as the update notes, the medium term economic uncertainty needs to be acknowledged, too.
I hope you enjoy the Easter weekend, stay at home, stay safe and we’ll be back on Tuesday.
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