Pubs group JD Wetherspoon announces full-year results, but of greater interest will be the update on trading in the first six weeks of the current year.
Although the weather has not been kind to pubs this summer, the group is going up against relatively soft comparatives from a year earlier, when like-for-like sales were up just 0.4% year-on-year.
The market has pencilled in £1.23bn for sales and pre-tax profit of £71.2m. Earnings per share are tipped to advance to 41.6p while the dividend is seen climbing to 12.95p.
"We look for news on plans for the redeployment of capex [capital expenditure] from the scaled back opening programme. We think increasing dividends faster than earnings would be particularly well received by the market," Panmure Gordon said.
"We think there is underlying top-line momentum in the business and margins should stabilise as the 176 pubs opened over the last four years mature and the drag from new pubs diminishes as the number of openings is reduced. However we note the group is aggressively discounting certain products (cider, wine, spirits and cocktails) between now and the end of November which could depress gross margins," the broker added.
MP Evans, the producer of Indonesian palm oil and Australian beef cattle, is expected by Peel Hunt to announce a reduction in interim earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to $10m from $11.4m at the halfway point last year.
"This is due to the fall in palm oil price
offsetting volume increases. There will also be a reduction in contribution from associates, with NAPCO likely to be sharply lower due to balance sheet movements at period end due to falls in the cattle price," the broker explained.
"We expect limited news and marginally declining valuation across the office
portfolio, resulting in a negative NAV [net asset value] performance, or flat at best," Peel Hunt added.
M. P. Evans Group, Verona Pharma
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