3 FTSE shares I’ll be watching like a hawk in August

Paul Summers picks out three FTSE shares that he’ll be checking in with next month as they release updates to the market.

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The multiple headwinds faced by the UK economy are making it more important than ever to regularly check in with how well our companies are actually faring. That’s why I’m already looking to see which FTSE shares are due to report next month.

Here are three I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Greggs

As things stand, I’m not expecting anything less than another decent set of half-year numbers from sausage roll seller Greggs (LSE: GRG) on 1 August.

Why so bullish? Well, Greggs finds itself in something of a sweet spot when it comes to the cost-of-living crisis. Its low-ticket items/value proposition are likely to be chiming more than ever with commuters and families watching the pennies.

True, it’s far from the only option for a quick bite at breakfast or lunch. Moreover, I do wonder quite how many shops the company can continue opening before we see ‘peak Greggs’.

And a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 23 also suggests that a massive share price rise is probably not on the menu next month. This is unless some upgrades to guidance are announced.

However, evidence of a reduction in costs is likely to be cheered by investors like me, as would a hike to the interim dividend.

Next

Another FTSE stock I’ll be taking a look at next month will be top-tier retail bellwether Next (LSE: NXT). A trading update on how the clothing and homewares purveyor has performed over Q2 is due on 3 August.

Based on recent share price activity, it would appear that investors are increasingly optimistic about how Next is coping with the squeeze on incomes. The stock is up over 20% year-to-date.

This move doesn’t feel unjustified, in my opinion. Back in June, the business raised its guidance on sales and profit for the full year after trading had exceeded expectations. Lots of sunny weather was one reason given.

Given that we’ve seen more of the same up until recently, I think there could be more good news to come next month, perhaps even a further upgrade. Next does have form when it comes to under-promising and over-delivering.

The trouble is that the positive momentum seen in the price makes me think a lot of this is possibly priced in. So, could the share price actually fall back?

Bellway

A final FTSE stock demanding my attention next month will be housebuilder Bellway (LSE: BWY). It’s down to provide an update on trading on 9 August.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, its share price has been something of a rollercoaster ride over the last year.

Clearly, the lower-than-expected inflation figure announced last week has buoyed those operating in the housing sector. While further interest rate rises are anticipated, these might not be quite as draconian as first thought. This, in turn, could help demand to recover.

Quite how positive Bellway chooses to be about its earnings outlook, however, remains to be seen. One wouldn’t blame management for being cautious, even if this proves unpopular with investors.

As things stand, I think the shares already offer great value. At 0.75, the price-to-book ratio is low.

The 6.3% dividend yield also looks comfortably covered by expected profit (although, naturally, there can be no guarantees).

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.

Paul Summers owns shares in Greggs plc. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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