3 FTSE Shares For The Week Ahead: Vodafone Group plc, Land Securities Group plc And Sports Direct International Plc

Vodafone Group plc (LON: VOD), Land Securities Group plc (LON: LAND) and Sports Direct International Plc (LON: SPD) bring us news.

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As we get further into July, the rate of company announcements is starting to accelerate. The week after next is going to be a big one, with lots of interim results, but we do have a couple of first-quarter updates from FTSE 100  firms next week.

Here are details of those, and a set of full-year results expected from a pretty successful FTSE 250 company that’s knocking on the door of the top flight:

Land Securities, Wednesday

We should have a Q1 update from Land Securities Group (LSE: LAND) on Wednesday, and with positive forecasts for the year to March 2014, investors will be keen to see how the year has started.

With housebuilding and property coming back into favour, the real-estate investment trust has seen its share price doing well over the past year, and though it has had an erratic couple of months, it is up more than 25% overall and up around 50% over two years, to 967p today.

The price rise has put the shares on a forward P/E for this year of 25, which is way ahead of the FTSE’s long-term average of 14, but if we’re in for a spell of property growth then that could start to tumble. There’s also a dividend yield of 3.3% forecast, which is around the FTSE average.

Sports Direct, Thursday

Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) is due to deliver full-year results on Thursday, and judging by April’s pre-close update, it’s been a pretty good year. Total sales for the nine weeks to 31 March were up 14.3% with gross profit up 22.7%.

Chief executive Dave Forsey told us that “As we announced in the Interim Management Statement in February 2013, we are certain of reaching our 2013 full year targeted underlying EBITDA of £270m (before the charge for the bonus share schemes).

Current City expectations suggest that earnings per share (EPS) should be up by a third, and we should see a return to a full-year dividend — it’ll only be around 0.5%, but it’s slated to grow quickly over the next couple of years.

The shares have appreciated by around 90% over the past 12 months to 565p today, and that puts them on a P/E of over 20 based on these expectations. But EPS growth forecasts for the next two years of around 15% and 25% respectively would bring that down quite rapidly.

Vodafone, Friday

We’ll close the week with a first-quarter update from telecoms giant Vodafone Group (LSE: VOD) on Friday. The year to 31 March saw a 4.2% fall in revenues, although adjusted pre-tax profit came in 6.2% ahead at £10.6bn with adjusted EPS up 5% to 15.65p. Net debt did rise, by 10.4% to £27bn, but that doesn’t look to be troubling.

The firm told us it expects to see adjusted operating profit of between £12bn and £12.8bn for 2014, and City analysts are forecasting a 3% rise in EPS — putting the shares on a modest-looking forward P/E of 12 on the current price of 194p.

This year also brought a 7% rise in the full-year dividend to 10.19p per share, but there’s only a modest lift to 10.29p forecast for 2014 after Vodafone changed its dividend stance and said it now merely “aims at least to maintain the ordinary dividend per share at current levels“. But for now, the mooted yield of 5.4% looks good.

News concerning Vodafone’s relationship with Verizon Communications has gone quiet of late, so any hints in that direction will be welcome.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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