... and updates from easyJet and Punch Taverns, too.
With the country taking time off next week to celebrate the Jubilee, there's not a lot in the way of news coming our way. But what there is will be well worth paying attention to.
A well-priced specialist
Thursday will bring us full-year results from Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT), the company known for its high-purity catalysts, precious metals and other speciality chemicals and industrial processes.
With a market capitalisation of £4.6bn, Johnson Matthey is a decent-sized FTSE 100 company, and perhaps not the kind you might expect to show large swings in its share price. But since the price plummeted in the dark days at the end of 2008 to a low of 668p, they've bounced back to 2,137p today. That's more than a three-bagger, putting it firmly on "galloping elephant" status, at least as far as the UK's top flight blue-chip shares go.
But what about its underlying performance? Well, profits remained rock steady from 2008 to 2010, showing just how meaningless the share price panic was. And apart from a couple of flat years, earnings per share (eps) and dividends have been rising. The 2012 payout, which we will be hearing about next week, is currently expected by City analysts to come in more than 25% ahead of last year's 40p per share.
That's only a 2.4% yield, but it's heading in the right direction. The shares are on a pretty average price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 14, and net debt was modest at the last count.
A bargain in the health business
Synergy Health (LSE: SYR) will report its full year the same day, and it's an interesting-looking company. The FTSE 250 constituent is in the business of hospital sterilisation, infection control, patient hygiene and related services, and that's pretty important in these days of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
How is Synergy looking as a potential investment? It's been turning in nicely improving profits over the past few years, and at its last year-end had net debt of around a quarter of its current market cap -- so that's one thing I'd be carefully looking at. There's a modest dividend of a little over 2% expected, but it should be covered more than three-fold, and the P/E is only around 12.
The value of a Synergy investment is going to depend on the growth in demand for this kind of service, and that has to be strong. On this first examination, Synergy looks an attractive proposition to me.
Thomas and his friends
Were you ever a model train enthusiast? I was when I was young, and I had a whole set of Hornby stuff. I'm really pleased that Hornby (LSE: HRN) is still going as an independent listed company, and we're expecting full-year results on Friday.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, over the past few years when people have been worrying about their mortgages, their savings and their jobs, profits have fallen off as there have clearly been more important ways to spend money. And there was no dividend paid in 2010.
But things look to be picking up, with nice earnings recovery expected for this year and next. And the current forecasts put the dividend yield as high as 8%. With a market cap of just under £30m, it's the kind of tiddler that's out of favour these days -- but it might just be worth a closer look.
A recovering small-cap share like this might be one way towards your first million, but there are other ways, as the free Fool report "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" explains.
And the rest
Friday also brings us an interim update from recruitment firm SThree (LSE: STHR), which should hopefully shed some light on economic sentiment -- recruitment can be a good barometer of the outlook in general.
We'll also have monthly traffic figures from easyJet (LSE: EZJ) on Wednesday, we're expecting a Q3 statement from Punch Taverns (LSE: PUB) on Thursday, and housebuilder Bellway (LSE: BWY) will release an interim statement on Friday.
And that's about it really -- have a great bank holiday weekend, Fools!
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Notable announcements next week:
Monday: Bank holiday
Tuesday: Bank holiday
Wednesday: easyJet, Nature Group
Thursday: Johnson Matthey, Punch Taverns, Real Estate Credit Investments, Synergy Health, WYG, RWS Holdings
Friday: Bellway, Hornby, SThree
Fool comment on this week's news:
> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.