The Motley Fool

3 FTSE 100 Shares For The Week Ahead: Prudential plc, Resolution Limited and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Earnings reports from FTSE 100 companies are starting to drop off now, as we move past the interim season for firms with years ending December. But we still have a few important updates to come, so let’s take a quick look at two upcoming first-half reports from the insurance sector plus a look towards full-year performance in the tobacco business:

Prudential, Monday 12 August

The insurance sector has been going through a good patch recently, and first-half results from Prudential (LSE: PRU) (NYSE: PUK.US) due on Monday should hopefully add to the cheer. Prudential shares are up around 48% over the past 12 months, to 1,175p today, after the firm put in a 22% rise in earnings per share (EPS) for the year to December 2012. In fact, apart from a flat year in 2011, Prudential’s earnings have been regularly growing at a double-digit pace.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic… and with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.

But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be a daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool UK analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global upheaval…

We’re sharing the names in a special FREE investing report that you can download today. And if you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

But what’s expected for 2013? Well, there’s a further 10% rise in EPS currently being forecast for both this year and next, with the shares on a forward P/E of 14 which is around the FTSE average. But the expected dividend isn’t really anything to shout about, with a yield of just 2.6% expected — there are others in the sector paying a lot more.

The first quarter of this year was pretty good, with asset management net inflows up 66% on the same quarter a year previously to £3.5bn, and new life insurance business in Asia was up 18%. Hopefully we’ll see more of the same on Wednesday.

Resolution, Tuesday 13 August

Fellow life insurer Resolution (LSE: RSL) is scheduled to deliver its first-half figures on Tuesday, and it too has had a good year with its share price up 50% over 12 months to 324p today.

Resolution’s first-quarter update in March was also pretty positive, telling us of its new business during the quarter rose 9% to £38m, with most of that in the UK — up 30% to £35m. Chief executive Andy Briggs said “We remain optimistic about the opportunities for profitable and cash generative growth going forwards“.

 The City seems optimistic too, with analysts currently forecasting a 25% boost in EPS and a 6.4% dividend yield — but if that comes off, the dividend will only be barely covered. Resolution shares are on a forward P/E of 13.

Imperial Tobacco, Thursday 15 August

The tobacco business has not been as healthy of late, and shares in Imperial Tobacco (LSE: IMT) (NASDAQOTH.ITYBY.US) have been suffering — they’re down 15% over the past year to 2,138p today, even though EPS has been rising for years, albeit at a slower pace in the past year or two. How the firm is progressing so far this year should be apparent on Wednesday, when we should have an interim management statement.

At the first-half stage in March, stick-equivalent volumes were down 5.9% as the poisonous weed might finally be starting to lose some of its allure, with net tobacco revenue down 3.1% to £3.28bn and adjusted tobacco profit down 6.7% to £1.36bn, though the firm did lift its interim dividend by 11% to 35.2p per share.

Despite that, forecasts for the year to September suggest a small rise in EPS, which would put the shares on a P/E of just over 10, and there’s a dividend yield of more than 5% predicted.

Finally, do you like having your investment returns boosted by dividends like these? Dividends can be spent or reinvested according to your needs — whether you’re investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome.

And that’s why I recommend the BRAND-NEW Fool report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Income Share For 2013“, in which our top analysts identify a share that they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come.

But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.

> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.

One Killer Stock For The Cybersecurity Surge

Cybersecurity is surging, with experts predicting that the cybersecurity market will reach US$366 billion by 2028more than double what it is today!

And with that kind of growth, this North American company stands to be the biggest winner.

Because their patented “self-repairing” technology is changing the cybersecurity landscape as we know it…

We think it has the potential to become the next famous tech success story.

In fact, we think it could become as big… or even BIGGER than Shopify.

Click here to see how you can uncover the name of this North American stock that’s taking over Silicon Valley, one device at a time…

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.