The high street is in the news next week, with updates from Debenhams, JD Sports, and Halfords.
Pollster YouGov (LSE: YOU), whose share price has collapsed from over £2 to under 40p in less than 3 years, will kick off the week on Monday with an interim results statement. Maybe the announcement of the election date will put a spring back in their step.
JD Sports Fashion (LSE: JD) has seen its shares grow three and a half fold since the beginning of 2009, and will release preliminary results for the year ending January 2010 on Wednesday. In its Christmas trading update, JD told us that it expected to beat market expectations, and the latest forecasts are now predicting earnings growth of about 15%, which is a lot better than its close rival, JJB Sports (LSE: JJB).
After releasing a modestly optimistic first half trading update last month, Debenhams (LSE: DEB) will be posting its interim results next Tuesday. After Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) offered an upbeat update this week (though admitting to those ubiquitous "challenging" conditions), people will be comparing these two traditional (some would say old-fashioned) retailers.
High street bike seller Halfords (LSE: HFD), which has been one of the past few years' success stories, will provide us with a trading update on Thursday. Halfords has seen its profits growing steadily year-on-year, and in February expanded into the auto servicing market by buying up Nationwide Autocentres in what looked like a good deal. Hopefully we'll get some news about how that is going.
Digging and building
Two miners will offer news next week. Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO), which digs up all sorts of metals and minerals, will regale us with an operating update for the first quarter of 2010 on Thursday. After an exceptional year in 2008, followed by a modest year last year, the company is expected to grow its earnings by around 40% this year. And on the same day, Ferrexpo (LSE: FXPO), which mines and processes iron ore, will also give us an update.
With the construction industry recovering nicely, Travis Perkins (LSE: TPK), which provides services and materials to the trade, reported mixed interim news in February, and will update us further on Wednesday. Earnings for this year are currently forecast to be down about a quarter on last year.
Emerging market fund manager Ashmore Group (LSE: ASHM) will publish its third-quarter update on Wednesday. Unusually for a finance or investment company, Ashmore didn't suffer too badly during the crisis, and it is set for modest growth this year. But what looks most attractive is that the shares are on a forward dividend yield of more than 4.5%, so hopefully we'll get some idea if this is still on the cards.
Notable announcements next week:
Wednesday: JD Sports Fashion, Travis Perkins, Ashmore, Alterian
Thursday: Rio Tinto, Ferrexpo, Halfords, Experian, Eaga, NCC Group
Friday: A quiet day
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