Will Trainline and Imperial Brands be smokin' on Guy Fawkes day?

Primark owner Associated British Foods and Regus owner IWG will also be delivering numbers

Trainline has some 'known unknowns' in its future, say analysts

Shareholders in Trainline PLC (LON:TRN) will hope to find the rail tickets company on track meet its expected “low to mid 20% range” revenue growth for the full year, when it reports its third set of results as a listed company on Tuesday.

Ticket sales continue to shift online and the use of electronic tickets rises, which boosted UK consumer revenues 34% in the six months until 31 August.

Floated at 350p in May, the shares put on a small head of steam but have dropped off since September, when the online ticket seller said it expected UK sales to be “significantly lower” in the second half of the year, as a result of the annualisation of new revenue streams.

Peel Hunt has the company on a ‘hold’ rating, saying there are "known unknowns" in the Trainline’s future, including the Williams Reviews of UK railways this autumn, the potential for Uber to expand its nascent train business, and the advance of the “Reserve with Google” feature on Google Maps.

Imperial still smouldering

Steam of a different type is likely at Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMP), though maybe it's from investors' ears as they nurse losses of around 35% over the past year, the latest spark coming from September's profit warning over US vaping worries.

Revenues at the Lambert & Butler maker are expected to grow just 2% in the year with flat earnings per share amid tougher trading in its newly reorganised Africa, Asia and Australasia division, with figures for the segment likely to be watched closely after the firm highlighted more competition in Australia which could offset its results in Europe and the Americas.

Investors will also be on the lookout for any signs of a change in strategic direction after IMP’s long-serving chief executive, Alison Cooper, announced she was stepping down in early October, as well as any developments in its new generation products (NGPs) which includes products such as vapes.

“In our view the market lacks confidence in [Imperial’s] ability to grow an NGP brand profitably, and focus is now likely on disposal progress and what new management could do”, said analysts at UBS, although they conceded that neither of these issues were likely to be addressed in the results.

Any ooh and ahhs in ABF outlook?

Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF) has scheduled its full-year results on Tuesday, with no fireworks expected ahead of Bonfire Night as Primark’s owner said it all in its September pre-close update.

The conglomerate said year-end net cash would be around £900mln, with the anticipated decline in the sugar division offsetting strong profits brought in by the grocery section and Primark.

Investors seem to believe the group has been sinking like many other UK competitors, as the fast-fashion branch, which brought in two-thirds of ABF’s total profits last year, reported a 2% decline in like-for-like sales in the half-year results.

The outlook should be one area of interest ahead of the key festive season

As WeWork wobbles, we look at rival IWG

Serviced office specialist IWG PLC (LON:IWG) will report on its third quarter on Tuesday, a day after revealing another international deal as part of a new franchise strategy.

IWG agreed to sell its 38 office assets in Switzerland for £94mln to two family-owned banking firms and the FTSE 250 group will now provide ongoing services and support as part of a franchise agreement.

The Swiss deal comes after similar moves in Japan with Tokyo-based TKP in the first half and another with TKP in Taiwan in the third quarter.

The company formerly known as Regus sold its Japanese business for £320mln, helping it to an interim profit after tax of £294.9mln, while the Taiwan deal was for £22.7mln.

Analysts at Credit Suisse told clients the moves were part of IWG beginning an “evolution towards a franchise model with consequent benefits to financial leverage, return on capital, volatility and, in our view multiples”.

Shares in IWG had doubled in the first eight months of the year but since US rival WeWork's IPO-related wobbles in early September, IWG stock has slipped around 8% before the Swiss deal so boss Mark Dixon's comments about the sector will be closely followed.

With first-half revenues from “pre-2018” properties growing 5.2% but profit before tax on continuing operation down 4%, broker Peel Hunt expects revenue growth of circa 3% in the third quarter.

Significant events on Tuesday 5 November

FinalsAssociated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF), Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB), UP Global Sourcing Holdings PLC (LON:UPGS)

InterimsCastleton Technology PLC (LON:CTP), Mxc CapitalLtd (LON:MXCP), Trainline PLC (LON:TRN)

Trading statementsIWG PLC (LON:IWG), Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR)

Economic announcements: UK, EU and US PMI services, UK BRC shop price index, UK balance of trade, US non-manufacturing ISM, EU producer prices

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