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Rolls-Royce's divi in danger

At Rolls-Royce, the focus will be on the order book and the cost base. Both might have a say on whether the dividend is maintained.
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Rolls-Royce shares have been hit but profit warnings

Once the pride of the British engineering sector, the wheels have started to come off power systems developer Rolls-Royce recently.

It has not been helped by slumping oil prices, which have dampened demand in its marine division.

New chief executive officer Warren East, having moved over from chip designer ARM Holdings, has already announced a management restructuring, with a number of senior personnel heading for the exit. Investors are now wondering whether the next difficult decision he'll take is to cut or suspend the dividend.

Earnings per share (EPS) are expected to have reversed in 2015, with analysts expecting EPS of 52.21p, versus 2014's 65.3p.

Pre-tax profit is tipped to be £1.34bn on sales of £13.55bn.

As ever, focus will be on the order pipeline, but also on whether the company has any more plans to cut back on costs.

Acal, the designer, maker and distributor of customer-specific electronic products and solutions is one of those companies that is riding the wave of the inter-connected world or, if you prefer, the internet of things.

November's half-year results were a bit ahead of market expectations and shareholders will be hoping the momentum has been maintained since then.

“The performance of the business (outside the UK) has been encouraging and some early indicators suggested that Europe might improve further in H2. These may well have abated now after the slowdown in China and the oil price crash,” noted Peel Hunt, which has an 'add' rating on the stock.

“Aside from the macro, the strategy continues to deliver growth and margin progression – evidenced by two recent deals - and we see more to come,” it added.

Significant announcements expected

Finals: Holders Technology (LON:HDT), Rolls-Royce (LON:RR.)

Trading update: Acal (LON:ACL)

Economic: UK – Construction Output. EU – Gross Domestic Product, Industrial Production. US – Retail Sales, Business Inventories, Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment

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