The week ahead: BHP Billiton, Reckitt Benckiser

A bunch of FTSE 100 big hitters publish updates over the next few days. Will it be enough to keep the index heading north?

Monday 16 October

Trading Statements

Etalon, Schroders, Rio Tinto

AGM/EGM

Zibao Metals Recycling, Bluejay Mining

Tuesday 17 October

Trading Statements

B.P. Marsh & Partners, Orchard Funding, Utilitywise, ASOS, Genedrive, Bioventix, dotDigital, Bellway, Moneysupermarket.com, Pearson, Merlin Entertainments, Mediclinic International, Virgin Money, Evraz, Segro

Wednesday 18 October

BHP Billiton (BLT) reports first-quarter results midweek. There’s been a strong rally into these numbers, the share price up 8% in the past fortnight to its highest in one month, so expectations are high.

Now nudging £14, analysts at Investec Securities now think they could reach £15.87, up 6% on its previous estimate. “BHP sees an average 10% lift in forecast earnings over FY18-19e as the outlook benefits in particular from higher copper and coal prices,” writes the broker.

“Forecast free cash generation is substantial and we see BHP being able to comfortably continue its current debt reduction programme, with net debt forecast to fall from over $16 billion at the end of FY17 to below $12 billion by the end of FY18e (June year-end) while the company still pays out a 6-7% yield.”

Consumer goods conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) follows up with a third-quarter sales update, which will be eagerly anticipated. Shares have been up and down for the last 18 months, but have staged a rally and are up 5.3% in a week. That’s despite Investec slashing its price target by 10% to 6,400p last Friday.

Having told investors three months ago at interims market conditions were “challenging”, Investec reckons chief executive Rakesh Kapoor may be forced into changing full-year 2017 guidance. Analyst Eddy Hargreaves reckons the base Reckitt business should see FY17 growth of 1% compared to 2% company guidance.

In the Q3 numbers, an easy comparative in Korea and restocking in India should be more than offset by negative pressures from its Wet & Dry Express Pedi product, the recent cyberattack and price increases at Mead Johnson.

“A slowdown in the OTC Consumer Healthcare market is liable to persist amid intensifying competition, while we think a turnaround at Mead Johnson will take longer than the market expects,” Hargreaves adds.

Trading Statements

BHP Billion, Severstal, U and I Group, Softcat, Reckitt Benckiser, Rathbone Brothers, Hochschild Mining

Thursday 19 October

Trading statements

Unilever, Stobart Group, Tristel, Travis Perkins, Unilever, Genel Energy, Segro, Rank, Rentokil Initial

AGM/EGM

BHP Billiton

Friday 20 October

Trading statements

Oncimmune, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Record, InterContinental Hotels

AGM/EGM

Vast Resources

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Source.