Wednesday preview: Next and Sainsbury report

Next is expected to report retail sales growth when it unveils its first quarter results Wednesday, according to Panmure Research.

Next is expected to report retail sales growth when it unveils its first quarter results Wednesday, according to Panmure Research.

The broker recommended a 'buy' rating, saying the UK retailer's online offering has put it in a prime position for growth.

"Our 'buy' rating is based on our long term view that Next will be a winner in the online race, given its historic and on-going investment in home shopping, which has put it miles ahead of the competition in multichannel retail," the analyst said.

Panmure forecasts first quarter retail sales growth of between 1.5% to 2.0% and directory sales to rise 7.0%.

However, it anticipates flat full-year revenues in retail and an 8.0% jump in directory.

Credit Suisse last month said a slump in homewear sales is likely to drag on the company's performance.

While Next has started to prioritise its home division in advertising, the analyst believes the market requires a boost to housing transactions and secured credit before realising any material improvement in the category.

"While leading indicators are still positive there hasn't yet been sufficient signs of a pick up in housing activity in the spring for this to be the driver we originally expected this year," Credit Suisse said.

Also hogging the headlines Wednesday will be Sainsbury as it releases its full-year results.

The supermarket will report a 5.0% increase in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and an 8.0% rise in earnings per share, on pre-reported sales increase of 4.6%, according to Jefferies International. Pre-tax profits are pegged at £757m, driven by the grocer's ability to out-trade competitors.

"The benefit of Brand Match on overall value perception has provided a further anchor to solid sales performance," the broker said.

However, Jefferies said Sainbury's ability to deliver sustainable like-for-like outperformance is likely to reduce over the coming year given the increasing maturity of the non-food business.

The company will also probably address speculation around management changes including the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer Justin King, who has spent eight years at the helm.

"Regardless of changes in the leadership, we expect Sainsbury to engage more fully on calls for greater capex scrutiny," Jefferies added.

Wednesday May 8th

INTERIMS

Sage Group

INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Aberdeen Asset Management, James Halstead, Miton Income Opportunities Trust, Regenersis, Smart (J) & Co., Spirit Pub Company

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

BP, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM Corp., Unilever

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)

Industrial Production (GER) (11:00)

MBA Mortgage Applications( US) (12:00)

FINALS

Sainsbury (J)

IMSS

CRH, Intu Properties, Promethean World, Resolution Ltd., Tullow Oil

SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Antofagasta, Fidessa Group

EGMS

Global Investment House KSCC GDR (Reg S)

AGMS

888 Holdings, BAE Systems, Bank of America Corp., Costain Group, CRH, GVC Holdings, HGCapital Trust, Hygea VCT, Melrose Industries, Mobeus Income & Growth Vct, Norsk Hydro ASA, Playtech Ltd., Promethean World, Rightmove, Ruukki Group (DI), Savills, Tullow Oil

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

BRC Sales Monitor (00:01)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

British American Tobacco, Dialight, Fresnillo, JPMorgan American Inv Trust, Smith & Nephew, Synectics

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Alent, Antofagasta, Bilfinger Berger Global Infrastructure Sicav S.A.(DI), Bunzl, Cape, CSR, Derwent London, EP Global Opportunities Trust, Fidessa Group, H&T Group, Henderson Group, Henderson Private Equity Inv Trust, Hochschild Mining, IS Solutions, JD Sports Fashion, Kingfisher, Laird, Macfarlane Group, Maven Income & Growth 3 VCT, Pendragon, Randgold Resources Ltd., Rightmove, Ted Baker

Q1

CSR, Next, Hellenic Telecom Industries SA ADS, Ruukki Group (DI)

RD

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