Contract caterer Compass will give investors food for thought on Wednesday when it releases full-year results.
The market has pencilled in a figure of £16,869m for revenue, which is a lot of sausage rolls and crudités in anyone's language. Profit before tax is expected to break through the billion-pound barrier to £1,074m. Earnings per share are tipped to be around 42.37p, with the full-year dividend roughly half that amount at 21.18p.
Strong showings in North America plus Fast Growing & Emerging regions should compensate for soft markets in Europe and Japan.
Panmure Gordon is hoping for an update on plans to return additional cash to shareholders and believes the market would "welcome a commitment of a further £500m" by the end of fiscal 2013, which, if done in the form of buy-backs, would enhance earnings per share by around two or three per cent.
Platinum refiner Johnson Matthey's half-year results are expected to see the company unveil a 1.5% decline in revenue to £5,810m while operating profit is predicted to be virtually flat at £213.5m.
Despite what looks like a period of treading water for Johnson Matthey, Charles Stanley is expecting the company to whack the interim dividend up from 15.7p last year to 22.2p this.
"This would not be too surprising. At the release of its preliminary results for the year ended March 31st Johnson Matthey announced a special dividend payment of 100p per share, in addition to a final dividend payment of 40p per share. The rationale behind the special dividend payment was continuing strong growth in both profits and cash flow and the belief that the group has 'ample resources' to fund these expenditures," writes Rae Ellingham of Charles Stanley.
Johnson Matthey is a world leader in emissions control technologies, e.g. catalytic converters, so it does have exposure to the struggling French motor car industry, which might persuade the board to be a bit more careful with the divi.
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