Monday 28 March
- -Full-year results from Pershing Square
Tuesday 29 March
- -Full-year results from AG Barr
Full-year revenue at Irn Bru and Rubicon maker AG Barr is expected to hit £267m, above pre-pandemic levels, but the big question on analysts’ minds is how higher inflation will impact the company’s operating margin outlook, said Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Sophie Lund-Yates.
“Efforts to offset inflation could present in a number of different ways, including further price increases. Well-known brands give AG Barr the firepower to do this to some extent, but its products don’t exactly fall into ‘premium’ territory, so pricing power may be limited. That puts the onus on volumes, as well as further cost cuts. The latter could be a cause for concern if it comes at the expense of marketing budgets.”
- -Full-year results from IQE, S&U, Burford Capital and Central Asia Metals
- -First-half results from Bellway
So far, Bellway has been holding up decently in the rising inflationary environment. Preliminary figures revealed record first-half completions of 5,694, up 1% on the previous year, and CEO Jason Honeyman has flagged a 3% increase in selling prices to £311,800 over the period.
Most of Bellway’s peers flagged cost inflation between 5-6%, which have been offset by price increases, note Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, and Danni Hewson, financial analyst. Bellway is targeting an operating margin of 18% for this year.
However, one unknown, which Mould and Hewson suspect could be weighing on the share price, is how much cash the UK housebuilder will need to set aside to cover costs associated with building safety remediation work as part of the incoming cladding tax.
- -Nationwide UK house price index
- -UK mortgage approvals
- -US Case-Shiller house price index
The S&P/Case-Shiller house price index hit an all-time high of 278.6 in December, a year-on-year gain of 18% and 51% above the pre-financial crisis peak in summer 2006, Mould and Hewson note.
“The question now is whether the US central bank’s first interest rate increase since 2018 will start to cool the housing market. The 30-year US mortgage rate now stands above 4.5% for the first time since late 2018 and it would be logical would expect that to put the squeeze on buyers who are really having to reach to buy their target property.
“Rising mortgage rates already seem to be slowing sales of existing homes, which have fallen year-on-year for seven straight months in the USA. It now remains to be seen whether that trend starts to weigh on house prices.”
- -US Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)
- -US Conference Board consumer confidence
- -In the US, quarterly results from Micron and McCormick
Wednesday 30 March
- Full-year results from Strix, Michelmersh Brick and Keywords Studios
Keywords, which provides outsourcing services to the gaming industry, has been a key beneficiary of the pandemic boom in video games and is expected to report full year revenue and underlying pre-tax profit of €512m and €86m respectively.
However, analysts will be looking to see if it can keep this sales momentum going, while keeping margins, which are being affected by temporary tailwinds like reduced staff travel, sustained, Lund-Yates said.
“An area holding the group back is an inability to find enough highly skilled game developers. Fixing that will likely mean higher wages, and from both a cost and competitive perspective, investors will want to see this situation being managed. This is unlikely to have a huge effect on margins, but it’s still something to keep an eye on.”
- US ADP payrolls
- US oil inventories
- In the US, quarterly results from Biontech and Lululemon
Thursday 31 March
- Full-year results from S4Capital, Provident Financial, BBGI Global Infrastructure and Mears
- First-half results from Aim-listed floorer James Halstead
- Chinese purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs)
- Swiss National Bank monetary policy decision
- Challenger, Gray and Christmas job losses survey
- US Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index
- US weekly jobless claims
- In Asia, quarterly results from Kweichow Moutai and Cosco Shipping
- In Europe, quarterly results from H&M
- In the US, quarterly results from Walgreens Boots Alliance
Friday 1 April
- Trading update from Renew Holdings
- Japanese Tankan business climate survey
- Purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) for manufacturing in Asia, Europe, the UK and the US
- US jobs data
In February, the unemployment rate stood at 3.8% and 678,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added to the economy.
“In terms of the jobs numbers, the key figure may well be wage growth, given the Fed’s new-found, if potentially belated, conversion to the cause of fighting inflation,” Mould and Hewson said. Last month, wage growth rose 5.1% to an average of $31.58 an hour.
- US car sales
- In Europe, quarterly results from catering giant Sodexo