We have already taken a quick look at three top FTSE 100 companies reporting first-half figures in August, and interims will be coming think and fast throughout the month — and we’ll also have the occasional set of full-year figures as well, in a very busy month.
Here are two interims and one final that should be well worth taking a look at:
HSBC, Monday 6 August
We should have first-half figures from HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) (NYSE: HBC.US) on 6 August, and we’ve recently had interim updates from a couple of the group’s constituents — on 30 July, HSBC Bank Oman reported a 28% rise in net profit, and the day after we had news of a 7.6% rise in pre-tax net income at Grupo Financiero HSBC.
At the first-quarter stage, HSBC reported an overall 5% rise in underlying revenue and a 34% rise in underlying pre-tax profit, so full-year forecasts for a 35% rise in earnings per share (EPS) look like they could be on the money. There’s also a 34p dividend expected for a 4.6% yield, but it’s too early to tell if that is realistic yet with only a 6.58p per share Q1 dividend paid so far — it is HSBC’s policy to make three equal payments followed by a variable final sum.
The HSBC share price has done well over the past 12 months, gaining 40% to today’s 750p, though it has had a bumpy ride since January. At today’s price, the forward P/E is around 11, falling to 10.5 for 2014.
Aviva, Thursday 8 August
It will be the turn of Aviva (LSE: AV) (NYSE: AV.US) to announce first-half figures on 8 August, and it’s one the Fool’s Beginners’ Portfolio will be keenly awaiting — we added Aviva at 321p in March, and it’s up to 374p today. Aviva has been through a tough time, with EPS falling during the financial crisis and the firm reporting a loss per share for 2012. But the City is forecasting EPS of more than 40p for this year, putting the shares on a P/E of only 9, and there’s a dividend yield of 4.2% expected.
At first-quarter time, Aviva told us that operating cashflow was stable, and operating expenses had been cut by 10% to £769m — albeit with a hit of £54m in restructuring costs attached. The firm saw new business up 18% to £191m compared to the first quarter last year, with improved profitability in the UK and Asian markets.
What about the share price? Well, it’s pretty much gone sideways since the end of 2008, but it is up 28% over the past 12 months after recovering from the previous year’s slide. But on that lowly forward P/E, and heading in the right direction, Aviva must surely be cheap, mustn’t it?
BHP Billiton, Wednesday 21 August
We have news from the mining sector scheduled for 21 August, in the shape of full-year results from BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT). Like most in the sector, BHP has seen its share price sliding since the beginning of 2013 as fears for a Chinese slowdown hit commodities prices. But in the last month they’ve all been on the up, with BHP shares gaining 207p (12%) during July to 1,889p.
There’s still a 30% fall in EPS expected, but even with that the shares would be on a P/E of 13. For a miner, that might usually be considered a bit high, but possibly at the bottom of a cycle and with 2014 forecasts suggesting a P/E fall to 11, I think the price is looking attractive — especially when we consider an expected 3.8% dividend yield, predicted to rise above 4% for 2014.
We’ve already seen BHP’s production report for the year, showing a rise in iron ore output of 19%. And everything else is up too — petroleum products up 7%, energy coal 26%, copper 8% and other metals all up, too. So, we shouldn’t expect any surprises, with current forecasts looking good.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.