Wednesday preview: FTSE 100 big hitters swing results

A parade of FTSE 100 companies will be under the spotlight Wednesday as Unilever, BHP Billiton, Land Securities Group and Sage Group release their latest results.

A parade of FTSE 100 companies will be under the spotlight Wednesday as Unilever, BHP Billiton, Land Securities Group and Sage Group release their latest results.

Consumer goods giant Unilever will release its fiscal year statement. Consensus expectations are for fiscal year 2012 revenue of €51,298m, 10% higher than the €46,467m achieved in 2011. Fiscal year 2012 operating profits were forecast to reach €7,045m, 12% higher than the €6,289m achieved in the previous year.

Mining heavyweight BHP Billiton will produce trading results for the second quarter. Investment analysts at Macquarie on Tuesday reiterated a 'neutral' rating on the company's stocks with a target price of $34.44.

BHP has come under fire in the past week as the it halted work on its IndoMet coal project in Indonesia after a contract worker died from his injuries at the construction area. In another hit to the company's image, joint venture partner C. Fipke Holdings is suing BHP over its plan to sell its stake in the Ekati diamond mine to Harry Winston Diamond Corp.

Not to be missed either, Land Securities unearths its interim management statement following last week's consensus forecast from analysts advising investors to hold their position in the company. In a report released by Deutsche Bank on Tuesday, the group's 'buy' rating was reaffirmed with a target price of $15.36 on the stock.

Last, but not least, Sage Group, a supplier of business management software and services, unleashes a trading update. Analysts at Northland UK Research said recent newsflow was dominated by the ongoing share repurchase programme that is gradually improving earnings per share and dividends per share, returning £300m to shareholders in 2012.

"Trading remains pretty anaemic with continued weakness in the Spanish and French markets and the shift to subscription revenue resulting in organic group (full-year 2012) revenue growth of 2.0%," it said.

Wednesday January 23

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Home Retail Group, Latham (James)

INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Anite, Fletcher King, IG Group Holdings, NCC Group, SSE

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Assura Group Ltd.

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

City of London Inv Trust

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Consumer Confidence Indicator (EU) (10:00)

IMF World Economic Outlook

US House of Representatives votes on debt ceiling increase

Q2

BHP Billiton

Q4

Unilever

FINALS

Unilever

IMSS

Britvic, Findel, Land Securities Group, Sage Group

EGMS

Global Ports Investments GDR (REG S)

AGMS

Britvic, Enegi Oil, Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1, Independent Resources, MoneySwap, Polar Capital Global Healthcare Growth & Income Trust, Redefine International, Topps Tiles, WH Smith

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Close Brothers Group, WH Smith

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Claimant Count Rate (09:30)

Unemployment Rate (09:30)

MPC Minutes (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Diploma, Majedie Investments

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Avation, Compass Group, Gooch & Housego, Impax Asset Management Group, RWS Holdings, Shaftesbury, Titon Holdings

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