Kurdistan oil and gas firm Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) releases results on Thursday and investors may be keen to read the outlook statement – especially after a strong broker update earlier this week.
Genel’s oil business is “normalising”, that’s according to Royal Bank of Canada analyst Al Stanton who today dealt a weighty upgrade.
RBC’s rating swings to ‘outperform’ from ‘underperform’, and Stanton’s price target is raised to 200p from 115p – meaning the new target now sees some 30% upside to the current price.
The analyst did, however, deliver his seemingly significant upgrade with a hint of caution highlighting that, with an Iraqi parliamentary election due in May, his current view of Genel should be seen as a trade rather than a “conviction call”.
Ted Baker still in fashion
In a trading update in January, the FTSE 250-listed firm maintained its annual guidance after an increase in retail sales over the Christmas period, but warned trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the year ahead.
The high street firm reported a 9.0% increase in retail sales in the eight weeks to 6 January, compared to the same period last year, while e-commerce sales jumped 35.0% on a reported basis or 36.4% at constant currency, representing 30.1% of total retail sales.
Interest rates stay in focus
Following the Federal Reserve interest rate decision released after-hours on Wednesday, it will be the turn of the Bank of England to deliver its latest monetary policy pronouncements on Thursday.
However, unlike the Fed, the BoE Monetary Policy Committee is unlikely to make any changes this month, although the meeting minutes may hint at when the next hike will occur.
That could possibly be as soon as May given the bigger than expected fall in the February UK consumer price index to 2.7% for February reported on Tuesday, and data showing a rise in average earnings, excluding bonuses to above that level yesterday.
However, Thursday’s UK economic data may disappoint, with official February retail sales numbers likely to reflect the current malaise on the high street which has led to the collapse of names such as Maplin and warnings recently from Carpetright PLC (LON:CPR) and Mothercare plc (LON:MTC).
Significant events expected on Thursday March 22:
Bank of England rate decision
Finals: Ted Baker PLC (LON:TED), Genel Energy (LON:GENL), Lamprell PLC (LON:LAM), Soco International PLC (LON:SIA), Allied Minds PLC (LON:ALM), Cello Group plc (LON:CLL), Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC (LON:COG), Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN), Gamma Communications PLC (LON:GAMA), Inspired Energy plc (LON:INSE), Quixant plc (LON:QXT), Regional REIT Limited (LON:RGL), Sabre Insurance Group PLC (LON:SBRE), Safestyle UK PLC (LON:SFE), Sanne Group PLC (LON:SNN), Sopheon PLC (LON:SPE), Secure Trust Bank PLC (LON:STB), Venture Life Group PLC (LON:VLG)
Economic data: UK retail sales; German IFO business climate index; US weekly jobless claims; US manufacturing PMI