The coming week will see updates and results from a number of the FTSE 100’s big hitters including Vodafone, TUI and Morrisons, providing investors with some additional clarity on how the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has rippled across multiple sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, there will also be a smattering of macroeconomic data in the form of the UK's GDP as well as US inflation and retail sales data, while cryptocurrency investors will be keeping an eye on the Bitcoin 'halvening' happening on Monday.
Centrica feels the heat from pandemic
British Gas owner Centrica PLC (LON:CNA) is already under pressure from the pandemic, having cancelled its dividend and thrown out its cash flow guidance for the coming year, however, its trading update on Monday will provide more clarity on just how severe the impact will be.
The details are also likely to provide insight on how UK energy demands have been impacted by the lockdown. The company has already noted an increase in residential demand, however, this could be offset by a decline from business customers, particularly after UK business activity took a massive dive in April.
Centrica could also see a heavy impact from the recent oil price crash after having shelved its plans to shift production operations more towards nuclear.
Vodafone has a new problem
Credit Suisse say it could also create uncertainty on mobile infrastructure services firm CTIL, a joint venture between O2 and Vodafone.
Investors will want to hear about how it may impact the FTSE 100 group, as well as how current trading is doing.
Analysts at the Share Centre said the results for the year to 31 March are expected to see an uptick in revenue and operating profits, while reported profits should make a big leap into positive territory as last year’s write offs and impairments will not be repeated.
Morrison's hopes for panic buying sales bounce
Grocer WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) is set to deliver a trading update on Tuesday, with most likely to be watching for how the firm has fared in relation to its rivals in the initial pandemic period.
Tesco said previously that its sales rose as much as 30% in the first few weeks of the outbreak, while Sainsbury’s saw its own sales jump 12%.
While sales across the board should even out over time, investors are likely to watch how the public’s stockpiling affected Morrisons as well.
There will also be attention on how the group plans to keep costs low and preserve cash going forward, which will likely have been affected by the expected uptick in sales.
Another area of attention will be Morrison’s online operation, which is smaller than its rivals but could potentially have seen a huge increase in demand and its footprint as lockdown measures keep customers at home.
Land Securities to clarify state of UK property market
Coming on top of the structural shift in the retail market, the impact of coronavirus adds yet another layer of pressure on property developer Land Securities Group PLC (LON:LAND), which will announce results for the financial year ended 31 March on Tuesday, and rival British Land Company PLC (LON:BLND), which has pushed its Wednesday result back two weeks to 27 May.
Both property development giants have seen their share prices fall around 38% since the start of the year, with the rest of the real estate investment trust (REIT) sector hit by expectations of lower rents and valuations.
UK property capital values fell 3% in March compared to February, according to the last available industry data from CBRE, with figures for April due soon.
LandSec said last month that it has already seen a “huge shift in the use of our buildings” and was agreeing on rent deferrals with many retail and leisure occupiers after only 65% of rent due on 25 March was paid by end of the month, compared with 96% in the same period last year.
It has recently been suggested by figures outside the property industry that the future dynamics of big office buildings are going to be different in future, after the big change in working from home during the coronavirus lockdown.
“The notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past,” said Barclays chief executive Jes Staley.
TUI updates amid ongoing travel turmoil
Despite many governments lifting lockdown measures, the virus has not gone away, in the UK in particular with its highest death toll in Europe.
TUI last week cancelled a further 143,000 holidays as the tour operator extended the suspension of its operations due to the pandemic until, including aborting all holidays booked to take place before 14 May.
Shares in TUI are down 73% since the start of the year, hit further by bearish comments on Friday from other sector players, including a suggestion from BA that demand will not recover to the level of 2019 until 2023 at the earliest.
Aston Martin delivers post-rescue update
The fundraising, led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who is now executive chairman, pulled in £536mln for the struggling car manufacturer.
Investors will be interested to hear more details about plans from Stroll, whose Yew Tree Overseas Ltd consortium now has a 25% stake, to carry out the “necessary rebalancing of supply to demand” for the company’s core models.
In the short term, the company has revealed that it was reopening its new St Athan production plant in Wales this week, having shuttered all its factories since 25 March as the pandemic closed dealerships and disrupted supply chains in Asia.
With the majority of its workforce currently furloughed, the company’s other factory in Gaydon is scheduled to resume operations “later”.
This time last year, Aston Martin announced the sale of 1,057 cars, up 10%, but with underlying profits down 35% to £28.3mln.
Plans for 2020, which have of course been disrupted, would have seen the launch of the DBX in the second quarter with orders building since the launch last November, the relaunching of the Vantage, plus the deliveries of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Goldfinger DB5 in the second half.
Compass Group to quantify damage
In the six months to 31 March, organic revenue growth was 1.6% and the impact on operating profits from lost revenue was 28-29%, so investors will see how profits have been doing.
The FTSE 100-listed group had net debt of £4.9bn, including a drawdown of £200mln from a revolving credit facility at year-end.
Like many other companies, the catering giant may hint at some reopenings, while 55% of its operations were closed as of 23 April as sports and leisure activity was completely halted.
The market will be eager to hear how performance has been in April and potential forecasts for the remainder of the year.
Is WH Smith reopening more stores?
The newsagents' chain has been battered by closures of its stores in airports and train stations as governments implemented travel restrictions.
On 6 April the retailer announced that it was continuing to serve in 140 located in hospitals and in 203 post offices, so the market is wondering if more reopenings will be announced.
The results cover the period to 31 March, though investors will want to know whether the estimated 90% plunge in revenue for the month of April did in fact happen.
William Hill update as countries emerge from lockdown
With almost all professional sport still on hold as a result of the pandemic, investors are likely to focus on any results from the company’s cost-saving measures, as well as any updates on its US operations as America begins to slowly reopen its economy.
It was reported on 6 May that the firm is offering punters in Las Vegas a drive-thru option to sign up and deposit funds into its mobile sports betting book in an attempt to keep gamblers satisfied, so attention will likely focus on whether the company is planning to extend similar social distancing-friendly practices to its other markets and keep its business going.
Significant announcements expected for week ending 15 May:
Monday 11 May:
Tuesday 12 May:
Interims: Treatt PLC (LON:TET)
Economic data: US inflation
Wednesday 13 May:
Interims: TUI AG (LON:TUI), Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG), Sage Group PLC (LON:SGE), Marston’s PLC (LON:MARS), SSP Group plc (LON:SSP), Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC (LON:BRW), Stock Spirit Group PLC (LON:STCK)
Economic data: UK GDP, US PPI
Thursday 14 May:
Trading announcements: Balfour Beatty plc (LON:BBY), Beazley PLC (LON:BEZ), Hargreaves Lansdown PLC (LON:HL.), Gresham Technologies plc (LON:GHT), Arrow Global Group PLC (LON:ARW), Indivior PLC (LON:INDV), Helios Towers PLC (LON:HTWS),
Economic data: US jobless claims
Friday 15 May:
Economic data: US retail sales