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IAG, Rolls Royce and British American Tobacco on the agenda for busy blue chip Thursday

Its set to be a busy day for blue-chip news in London on Thursday.

British Airways
BA owner IAG is set to be among the day's highlights

Investors will have money on their minds when British Airways and Aer Lingus owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) reports its full year results on Thursday.

Analysts at The Share Centre said that since the FTSE 100 group backed away from making an offer for Norwegian Air Shuttle in January, while also saying it intended to sell its 3.93% stake in the firm, questions have been raised around what the company would do with the funds instead.

They added that following a “fairly reassuring” trading update in October, when IAG said full-year profits were expected to rise by some €200mln, the market would be watching to see if it hit its forecasts as well as its expectations for fuel costs in the coming year.

Rolls-Royce eyed for efficiencies following restructuring

Investors will be looking for Rolls Royce plc (LON:RR. to deliver some costs savings in its full-year results on Thursday after some structural changes that have included plans to axe 5,000 jobs.

In a preview, analysts at The Share Centre said investors would be looking for signs of “some of the efficiencies beginning to benefit costs” and if plans to make the company’s three core businesses, Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power Systems, operate more independently had started to show.

“As a sign of the times, investors and media will [also] pay close attention to the impact of Brexit on this flagship industrial and manufacturing group especially given the sad news out of the motor manufacturing industry”.

BAT expected to puff higher after results

British American Tobacco plc (LON:BATS) is expected to puff higher when it releases its full-year results on Thursday. UBS reckons the world’s second-biggest cigarette maker should see “some share gains” given a better performance in some of its key markets and from its strategic brands.

Analysts at the Swiss bank think cigarette volumes will decline 2.1% year-on-year, versus management guidance of a 3.5% drop. BAT has been investing heavily into its next-generation products (NGPs), and sales of its glo tobacco heating product is expected to hit 3.5bn in the second half.

“We believe organic EBIT growth will be lIMIted by investment related to launches of NGPs as well as adverse FX impact (UBSe £817mln). Our adjusted earnings per share of 292.4p is in line with consensus,” the UBS analysts said in a preview.

Thursday February 28:

Finals: International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC (LON:IAG), Rolls-Royce PLC (LON:RR.), British American Tobacco plc (LON:BATS), Bovis Homes PLC (LON:BVS), RSA Insurance PLC (LON:RSA), Rentokil Initial PLC (LON:RTO), CRH PLC (LON:CRH), Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MERL), Inchcape PLC (LON:INCH), Aston Martin Lagonda Holdings PLC (LON:AML), Hunting Plc (LON:HTG), Hastings Group PLC (LON:HSTG), Howden Joinery Group PLC (LON:HWDN), Mondi Plc (LON:MNDI), National Express Group PLC (LON:NEX), Petrofac PLC (LON:PFC), Foxtons PLC (LON:FOXT), Gocompare.com Group PLC (LON:GOCO), Vesuvius Plc (LON:VSVS), Amigo Holdings PLC (LON:AMGO), Bakkavor PLC (LON:BAKK), Grafton Group PLC (LON:GFTU), Greencoat UK Wind PLC (LON:UKW), Arrow Global Group PLC (LON:ARW), Diversified Oil & Gas PLC (LON:DGOC)    

Interims: Ricardo plc (LON:RCDO), Management Resources Solutions PLC (LON:MRS)

Ex-dividends to knock 13.9 points off FTSE 100 index: AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), Diageo plc (LON:DGE), easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ), Micro Focus International PLC (LON:MCRO)

Economic data: UK Nationwide house prices; US weekly jobless claims; US preliminary GDP; US Chicago PMI

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