The week ahead: Sky, AA and Lloyds dividend

There are plenty of blue chips reporting over the coming week, but there’s interest among mid-caps too, and just a few days to bag some big dividends.

Monday 16 April

Trading Statements

Carrs Group, Shanta Gold

Tuesday 17 April

AA (AA.), which once claimed to be the fourth emergency service, has been the one in need of help in recent years. Its share price had plunged to a record low after cutting its outlook both for profits and the dividend.

Hope here is that this is a case of short term pain for long term gain, but long-suffering shareholders are running out of patience. Broker Berenberg, already a seller, recently downgraded its price target to just 65p.

On the day that AA published its last strategy update, fund manager Neil Woodford filled his boot will another 5 million shares, taking his stake to over 15% of the business.

With margins at the core roadside recovery business getting squeezed, he’s clearly comfortable with a plan to pump money into technology and insurance at the expense of profits and the dividend. Others are not so understanding.

However, the share price has rallied to 110p over the past week, helped in no small part by rating agency S&P which decided not to downgrade its rating on the company’s corporate debt.

Source: interactive investor      Past performance is not a guide to future performance

Trading Statements

Associated British Foods, Egdon Resources, APC Technology, JD Sports Fashion, Mi-Pay Group, AA, TP Group, Highland Gold Mining, Clearstar, Rio Tinto, Ashmore

AGM/EGM

Dialight, MD Medical Group Investments

Wednesday 18 April

Trading Statements

Be Heard Group, GYG, AFI Development, RELX, Segro, Polymetal International, Jupiter Fund Management, BHP Billiton, Bunzl

AGM/EGM

88 Energy, Primary Health Properties

Thursday 19 April

Sky (SKY) shares are still riding high as a complicated media takeover circus plays out. Disney must make a mandatory offer for Sky at 1,075p, ruled the UK Takeover Panel, if the Fox/Sky bid is blocked.

“While the main focus for investors will be on Comcast formalising its 1,250p offer for Sky (likely early May if it wants to be on the same footing as the Fox bid), the ruling provides a 1,075p floor for the Sky share price,” writes UBS analyst Polo Tang.

We’ll get a look under the bonnet on Thursday when the satellite telly giant announces third-quarter results.

Tang expects a mixed set of results – watch for “robust” growth in financials, weak KPIs in Germany and flat trends in the UK and Italy. Underlying group revenue is tipped to have grown 4% to £10.1 billion in the first nine months of the financial year and EBITDA up 9% to £1.67 billion.

UBS still rates Sky shares a ‘buy’ with 1,500p price target, made up of 1,320p standalone value plus 180p of M&A synergy upside.

Among the many stocks going ex-dividend Thursday are Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY), Barratt Developments (BDEV), BAE Systems (BA.), Croda (CRDA), Greggs (GRG) and Fevertree Drinks (FEVR).

Trading statements

Gattaca, Unilever, Pentair, Acacia Mining, Debenhams, Xeros Technology, Camellia, hVIVO, Sky, Evraz

AGM/EGM

Idox, Essentra, Acacia Mining, Segro, Science Group

Friday 20 April

Trading statements

Reckitt Benckiser

AGM/EGM

HSBC, Bank of Ireland

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation, and is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. 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.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company’s or index name highlighted in the article.

Source.