The week ahead: Central banks, Ashtead, Carpetright

Fewer company results this week, but plenty to keep investors on their toes, with decisions from the three big central banks and EU Summit.

Monday 11 December

Trading Statements

Photo-Me International, Polar Capital Holdings, IXICO, Hardide, Hollywood Bowl Group Plc (BOWL)


Tuesday 12 December

Ashtead's (AHT) second-quarter results are keenly awaited. “We expect Ashtead to update the market on the potential impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as well as the recently announced tax reforms in the US,” says broker Liberum.

“On the former we expect Sunbelt to benefit from both the short-term clear-up efforts as well as the longer-term infrastructure rebuild. In this respect we would note that Sunbelt is extremely well positioned to benefit from this incremental demand.”

We had a trading update from Carpetright (CPR) in October, and news that overall UK like-for-like sales were slower than expected due to re-ranging activity in beds.

Management tells us that first-half pre-tax profit will be less than the £5 million made a year ago. Cantor Fitzgerald goes for a 40% slump to £3 million.

“Carpetright trades on a cal’18 PE of 10x,” writes the broker which rates the shares a ‘hold’ with 180p price target.

“Whilst self-help initiatives in the core flooring category appear to be gaining traction, the competitive threat from rival Tapi remains alongside an uncertain macro environment which warrants a cautious stance.”

Trading Statements

Balfour Beatty, Drax Group, Joules Group, Carpetright, Polar Capital Technology Trust, Ashtead, Begbies Traynor, Abzena, Zytronic, Autins Group


GCM Resources

Wednesday 13 December

US interest rate decision – widely anticipated 25 basis-point increase to 1.5%.

Trading Statements

Purplebricks, Residential Secure Income, OPG Power Ventures, Dixons Carphone, Cohort, John Wood Group, Serco


Infrastructure India, Avanti Communications

Thursday 14 December

Bank of England interest rate decision – expect no change at 0.5%.

European Central Bank interest rate decision – deposit rate tipped to remain at a record low of -0.4%.

EU leaders meet at a summit in Brussels to sign off the agreement put together by Theresa May and European negotiators. All must agree if discussions are to move to post-Brexit trade talks. Then the fun begins as the UK prepares to cut ties with the EU in March 2019.

Trading statements

Tungsten Corporation, Sports Direct, ReNeuron, Byotrol, PZ Cussons, Ocado, Bunzl


Upland Resources, PipeHawk, Sareum Holdings

Friday 15 December

All quiet

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.