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Next week on the stock market

What to expect from a selection of FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected overseas shares reporting next week.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

Among FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other companies scheduled to report next week:

  • Cash conservation and cost management will determine whether DS Smith pays a full year dividend
  • Sainsbury's will show us just how much we stockpiled over lockdown

FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and selected other stocks scheduled to report next week

No FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 reporters
No FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 reporters
Sainsbury's* Q1 Trading Statement
Associated British Foods* Q3 Trading Statement
DS Smith* Full Year Results
No FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 reporters

*Companies on which we will be writing research.

DS Smith – Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst

All the signs are that DS Smith has weathered the early days of the crisis rather well. A focus on supplying consumer goods and e-commerce companies means many of its customers continued trading through the lockdown – and may even have seen an increase in demand.

All things considered, next week’s full year results are likely to show numbers not all that different to what might have been expected before the current crisis hit.

However, the group has warned it will “inevitably be impacted by any severe prolonged downturn in global economic activity”. That led it to cancel the half year dividend and also raises questions about the full year dividend.

This means the focus next week will be on how management have handled additional costs and how successful they have been at preserving cash. If net debt has been kept down then management may well feel a full year dividend is possible after all, but there are no guarantees.

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Sainsbury’s – Emilie Stevens, Equity Analyst

It would be wrong to think Sainsbury's will be an out and out winner from coronavirus. In fact we expect the first quarter’s been a bit of a mixed bag.

Grocery sales boomed when the UK went into lockdown, with sales up 48% in the first week. But this was short-lived, suggesting stock piling just brought future sales forward. Sainsbury’s expectations were for sales growth to remain in high single digit territory for the rest of lockdown, but we’ll be keen to see just how strong the pull forward in sales has been.

Last year just over a quarter of group sales came from general merchandise and clothing. These areas are a trickier place to be, not only as Argos stores have been closed over lockdown, but in times of economic turmoil spending on discretionary items such as a TV or clothing tends to be put off. Sainsbury’s was prepared for sales to decline throughout the year. But we wonder if the recent home improvement boom has been able to offset this in anyway.

These scenarios together with increased bad debts at Sainsbury’s bank, meant initial expectations were for full year profits to stay flat. Next week’s results will provide early indication of whether the group’s still confident in that target.

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Nicholas Hyett holds shares in DS Smith.

Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Thomson Reuters. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Yields are variable and not guaranteed. Past performance is not a guide to the future. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

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    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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