WM Morrison Supermarkets [LSE: MRW]
It doesn’t seem all that long ago since questions were being asked over the long term outlook for supermarket WM Morrison, but this morning’s full year results seem to be ticking all the right boxes. EPS has come in a shade above consensus expectations, allowing for an in-line dividend increase and a special dividend of 4p per share, too. This is the company’s third consecutive year of growth in what by all accounts remains a challenging market as discount rivals continue to flourish.
Dignity [LSE: DTY]
Dignity is the UK’s only listed provider of funeral services and produced its full year results this morning. It may seem like a rather morbid proposition, but the reality is the company provides a very vital service to society. Their shares were hit hard at the start of the year when a pricing overhaul was announced, with the stock now down around 50%. The new pricing hasn’t come into effect yet, so today’s results may struggle to impress investors despite revenues being up by 3% and earnings per share beating top end expectations. It’s going to be the numbers next year that really count – analysts are already downbeat about how the new pricing will hit performance and there’s nothing in today’s numbers that shows any real stand-out.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals [LSE: HIK]
Pharmaceuticals giant Hikma saw its share price knocked on Monday after announcing a delay in regulatory approvals, so will today’s full year numbers from the company provide any upside? EPS may be down 10% year on year, but it’s still well above what analysts had been expecting to see so this, combined with a modest increase in the dividend may be sufficient to placate investors. Exceptional costs associated with the generic version of Advair Diskus – the drug that was reported to have failed an approval round at the start of the week – are high, so if these hurdles can be overcome then the outlook might well be transformational.