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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross

Stagecoach Group

Transport operator Stagecoach group have issued a trading statement this morning ahead of a series of analyst meetings it has scheduled.

It’s a brief note, highlighting divisional performance over the last four months and although contraction has been posted in some sectors – notably London bus and North American operations – it’s all in line with expectations.

Kingfisher

Kingfisher – the owner of B&Q and Screwfix – has published half year results this morning as it continues to plot a turn-around plan.

Sales are up by a fraction, but profits are tumbling. The dividend is being maintained, but net cash in the business has dropped from £650m a year ago to £99m.

The company’s French operations continue to drag, but there’s a belief that strategic milestones can continue to be met. Investors may well be wary,

Babcock

Babcock has issued a trading statement today, but on the face of it there’s nothing in the note to cause any concern.

Trading is in line with expectations, 87% of revenue is now in place for the current financial year and 57% is lined up for 2019/20.

The company successfully completed a business realignment last year which is allowing it to focus on higher yielding contracts, but investors will have to wait for the half year results in November for more detail.

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Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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