|LONDON (SHARECAST) - Thursday has a retail theme with Kingfisher, Halfords, Sports Direct and Mothercare all set to update the market.
Do-it-yourself retailer Kingfisher is expected by broker Jefferies to give a solid second quarter update, despite the lousy weather recently.
"A c.1% LFL [like-for-like] gain in both France and the UK should be taken well," the broker suggests. "We model for a broadly unchanged gross margin (reflecting range reviews and seasonal promotions in the UK, but sourcing progress in France) and strong cost control to allow for a broadly unchanged Q2 EBIT [second quarter earnings before interest and tax]," Jefferies says.
The B&Q operations in the UK are tipped by Jefferies to show LFL growth of 0.7%, while Screwfix is seen increasing sales by 8%.
In France, the broker is anticipating LFL gains of 1% at both Castorama and Brico. "Elsewhere internationally we expect softness in Poland (-2% LFL) and a tough China (-8% LFL given a shrinking property market), but strong progress in Russia and Turkey," the broker added.
Halfords, the car parts and cycles seller, announces its first quarter interim management statement with the company seeking to restore its reputation after the profit warning at the end of May. "An indication that trading has stabilised could see the stock recover some of the lost ground," Northland Capital Partners suggests.
Panmure Gordon reckons the results are certain to disappoint given the recent poor weather, it is merely a matter of how much disappointment there is likely to be. It is forecasting LFL sales on the retail side to be down 7% year-on-year.
Mothercare is another retailer that is likely to have been hit by bad weather, and Peel Hunt is expecting the baby-wear and toddler goods seller's first quarter to see a continuation of the poor trading trends seen in the previous quarter.
"We expect LFL sales to fall by c8%, with Direct negatively impacted by the platform change and gross margin also down yoy [year-on-year]," the broker said. "In short, this is not an instant recovery plan, although we expect international growth of 15-20%," Peel Hunt added.
"From recent marketing activity, we sense the majority of investors are open to Mothercare’s three-year recovery plan. For our own part, we rate the new management team highly, but see potential for 2013E UK losses to widen before initiatives gain traction in 2014E," the broker said.
Full year profits before tax from Sports Direct are set to surge to £165m, according to the median forecast of the eight brokers covering the stock. ales are seen coming in at around £1,754m.
Panmure Gordon is predicting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £230m, and is ahead of consensus with his profit before tax forecast of £171m.
"We don’t expect to see changes to consensus forecasts, despite the fact that it looks as if Euro 2012 was a complete damp squib for the sporting goods industry," the broker said.
Howden Joinery Group
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Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust, Euromoney Institutional Investor
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Bloomberg Consumer Confidence (US) (14:45)
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Sports Direct International
Halfords Group, Imperial Tobacco Group
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Acal, API Group, Energy Technique, Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. (DI), JJB Sports, KCOM Group, Land Securities Group, Mckay Securities, Mothercare, Shanks Group, Shires Income
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Internet Retail Sales (09:30)
Retail Sales (09:30)
Trends in Lending (09:30)
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British Polythene Industries, Capital Gearing Trust, Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 2, Octopus VCT , Restaurant Group, Tongaat-Hulett Ltd.