3 FTSE 100 stocks that could collapse in August!

Today I’m looking at three FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) giants that could plummet as summer draws to a close.

Fashion faller?

The large number of negative reports on the state of British retail paints a very worrying picture for clothing colossus Next (LSE: NXT). Just last Friday GfK said consumer confidence had shrunk at its fastest pace since 1990 following Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Next is due to release its latest set of results on 3 August 3 and any manifestation of these retail recent warnings is likely to send its share price sinking, in my opinion.

The firm already shook the market with a shock profit warning in the spring, Next cautioning about the impact of falling real earnings on shopper spending levels. The retailer is also being whacked by rising competition as its rivals improve their online services to rival its Next Directory internet and catalogue division.

While a forward P/E rating of 11.7 times can be considered ‘conventionally low’, I reckon the firm’s share price could still slip should its latest financials disappoint.

Housing hero

A great deal of uncertainty is swirling around the long-term outlook for the housebuilding sector, even if the likes of Persimmon (LSE: PSN) have bounced from post-referendum lows.

On Friday Foxtons painted a bleak picture by predicting a “prolonged period of further uncertainty” following the Brexit vote with future homebuyer activity already dented by a clampdown on the buy-to-let segment.

The estate agent’s bearish outlook came in the wake of latest lending data from the British Bankers Association, which showed mortgage approvals at 15-month lows of 40,103 in June. Further swathes of bad news could send Persimmon and its peers diving again.

On the flipside however, homebuilder Taylor Wimpey advised last week that “customer interest continues to be high” and that “current trading remains in line with normal seasonal patterns.”

While it advised that it remains too early to assess the full fallout of June’s referendum, a backdrop of supportive lending conditions gives reason for encouragement. And I agree with the housebuilder’s positive assessment, with Britain’s housing stock shortage adding a further peg of support.

I consequently believe Persimmon remains a splendid long-term stock selection, particularly given its ultra-low forward P/E rating of 9.2 times, and reckon a positive half-year update on Tuesday, August 23rd could give the share price fresh fuel.

Dividend dilemma

But I’m not so optimistic over the stock price outlook for BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) in the near term and beyond.

The mining giant is scheduled to release its financials for the year to June 2016 on 17 August. And I reckon this could prove the catalyst for a fresh move lower, particularly given BHP Billiton’s elevated P/E ratio of 71.6 times for the current year.

Of course the digger’s outlook for commodity markets will be keenly observed — China’s sinking economy is already casting a huge shadow over metals and energy demand.

But a bigger-than-expected dividend cut could really send BHP Billiton sliding. In February the digger cut the interim payment to 16 US cents per share from 62 cents a year earlier in response to challenging market conditions.

While the City has pencilled-in a dividend of 30 cents for fiscal 2016 — down from 124 cents in 2015 — a failure to meet even this modest figure could prove disastrous.

Be brave and buy!

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.