GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever will be bringing us updates, too.
There aren't many full-year results expected next week, but we should have a few important first-quarter statements.
Patents and pipelines
Among those, we'll have the two giants of the pharmaceuticals sector, with GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) telling us how its first three months went on Wednesday. One of the problems facing this sector these days is what is known as the 'patent cliff', with the expiry of patents on the big blockbuster drugs of the past expiring.
Glaxo, which looks like it is past the worst of the effect, has been handling this well, and is keeping future profit potential going with a strong drug development pipeline. The share price has been doing fine, too, and is up around 15% in the past 12 months. But even after that growth, there's still a 5% dividend forecast for this year.
Rival AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN), which reports its first quarter on Thursday, hasn't had things go quite so well. There are fears that its development pipeline is not as robust as it should be, and the blame for that is being increasingly pinned on chief executive David Brennan.
The difference between the two can be seen in the share prices, with AstraZeneca's having fallen more than 5% over the same period, putting it on a forward price-to-earning (P/E) ratio of just 7.5. That fall has pushed the forecast dividend yield for the year to more than 6.5%, so it's possible the shares are oversold now. The firm has its AGM the same day -- it should be fun.
Can ARM stay ahead?
Before either of those, on Tuesday we'll have a Q1 report from ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM). Having already grown to dominate much of the mobile computing business, with few phones and tablets these days not having several of its chips inside, ARM is moving to beef up its dominance by developing the next generation of mobile security.
The biggest risk to ARM surely has to come from US giant Intel (NASDAQ: INTC.US), and the big question is whether it can stay ahead of Intel's financial muscle. Still, worries about that haven't hurt the share price, which has more than seven-bagged since the start of 2009. It has been flat for more than a year now, mind, on a forward P/E of 43.
Other expected Q1 updates include those from Virgin Media (LSE: VMED) and Standard Life (LSE: SL) on Wednesday, and Barclays (LSE: BARC), Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) and British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) on Thursday.
We have news from two nicely defensive sectors coming as well, starting with interim results from Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) on Tuesday. The international food producer, which owns brands including Allied Bakeries, Primark, Silver Spoon and Twinings, is expected to be on for a strong year, with earnings growth of around 25% pencilled in. For a player in such an unfashionable sector, its share price hasn't done badly, having doubled in three years.
Consumer goods giant Unilever (LSE: ULVR) will deliver its first-quarter figures on Thursday, and they're expected to be solid and plodding. A safe cornerstone of many a portfolio, Unilever shares just keep on pumping out those dividends year after year, with around 4% expected for 2012. It's not the biggest on the market, but with products like Flora, Lifebuoy, Cif and Sunlight being dropped into millions of shopping baskets every day, it's one of the safest.
Of the few full-year results coming next week, Whitbread (LSE: WTB) is probably the one of most note, and a solid year is expected. A modest but well-covered dividend of about 2.7% is forecast, and there shouldn't be too much debt on the books.
Notable announcements next week:
Monday: Imperial Innovations Group, Lok'n Store Group
Tuesday: ARM Holdings, Associated British Foods, Carpetright, Filtrona, LiDCO Group, Netplay TV, Next Fifteen Communications, Reed Elsevier, Smiths News, Surgical Innovations Group
Wednesday: Capital Shopping Centres Group, GlaxoSmithKline, International Ferro Metals Group, Johnston Press, Polymetal International, Standard Life, Talvivaara Mining Company, Virgin Media
Thursday: Aquarius Platinum, AstraZeneca, Barclays, British American Tobacco, Camellia, Character Group, Cobham, COLT Group, Go-Ahead Group, Howden Joinery Group, Meggitt, Royal Dutch Shell, Shire, Taylor Wimpey, Unilever, Vectura Group, Whitbread
Friday: Aegis Group, WPP
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