Week ahead

Wood update after bid failure | Persimmon | Sainsbury’s

Wood Group solar
Analysts will seek progress on ‘value’

UPDATE 3 JULY: Wood Group will publish an update this week following the failed takeover attempt on the Aberdeen company by US private equity fund Apollo Global Management.

Shares in the FTSE 250 listed company plunged by a third in May after Apollo withdrew its proposed a 240p a share deal valuing the company at £1.7bn. They were last trading at 136p, giving a market cap of about £936m.

The Wood board responded to Apollo’s decision by saying the company is “well placed to deliver substantial value for shareholders”.

After unveiling a huge loss in March, CEO Ken Gilmartin admitted that the company had failed to deliver for shareholders who will be keen to see what progress is being made when it unveils an update on Thursday ahead of interim figures in August. There is talk of more disposals.

On Monday the company announced it has been awarded a contract extension worth approximately $250 million by Brunei Shell Petroleum, Brunei’s largest energy producer. 

Housebuilder Persimmon unveils a first-half update on Thursday ahead of interims on 10 August and will provide further guidance on the state of the market.

The shares have almost halved over the past year and fallen by two-thirds from their 2021 all-time high, thanks to worries over higher interest rates, mortgage availability, housing affordability, input cost pressures and an end to government support schemes such as the stamp duty tax break and Help to Buy. The dividend has already been cut and analysts have pencilled in a second straight drop in profits in 2023.

AJ Bell analysts say April’s first-quarter update at least contained no nasty surprises and Persimmon even suggested that completions in 2023 could reach the top end of the 8,000 to 9,000 guided range.

If the York-headquartered firm does manage to complete on 9,000 dwellings that would still mean a 40% drop from last year’s total of 14,868 and completions is the first number analysts will check.

The big supermarket chains will show how shoppers are responding to persistently high inflation and how the big grocers are managing to balance helping their customers out on price with the need to defend their own margins in the face of rising input costs.

Sainsbury’s announces a first quarter update on Tuesday and shares are trading no higher now than they did in spring 1989.

“Investors are clearly unconvinced that the FTSE 100 firm can get the balance right, especially as 2016’s £1.4 billion purchase of Argos no longer looks quite so transformational as it did back then,” says AJ Bell’s Russ Mould and Danni Hewson.


Monday 3 July

  • First-half results from Porvair

Tuesday 4 July

  • Full-year results from CML Microsystems
  • First quarter update from Sainsbury’s
  • Interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia

Wednesday 5 July

  • Trading statements from Robert Walters and Topps Tiles
  • Purchasing managers’ index for the construction industry in the UK
  • German factory orders
  • US oil inventories

Thursday 6 July

  • Full-year results from Currys, Watches of Switzerland and JET2
  • Q2 update from Wood Group
  • Trading statements from FerrexpoEntain and Victrex
  • Halifax UK house price index
  • US oil inventories

Friday 7 July

  • Trading statement from Vistry

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