UK stock market morning note (February 06, 2014)
February 6, 2014, Thursday, 08:34 GMT | 03:34 EST | 14:04 IST | 16:34 SGT
The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning with investors looking ahead to the announcements due out from the Bank of England and European Central Bank on interest rates. The economic diary also sees the publication of the latest weekly US jobless claims and US trade balance data at lunchtime. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are trading within narrow ranges ahead of the news from the central banks and US data.
Vodafone IMS reports that group revenue fell 4.3% to GBP10.97bn in Q3 with group service revenue down 4.8% on an organic basis to GBP9.85bn. Whilst it reported strong emerging market growth it noted that conditions in Europe remain challenging. It now has 9.8m customers on Vodafone Red and said it was well on target to achieve 11-12m customers by March 2014. The Verizon Wireless transaction is expected to complete on 21 February 2014 and confirmed full year guidance for adjusted operating profit of around GBP5bn and free cashflow of between GBP4.5bn-GBP5.0bn.
Compass IMS reports that it has had a good start to the new financial year with organic revenue growth of 4% on a constant currency basis and the pipeline of new contracts described as encouraging. It added that its expectations for the fully year remain positive and unchanged, notwithstanding the translation impact of forex movements.
AstraZeneca Q4 and Full Year Results reports that 2013 revenue fell 6% to USD25.7bn at constant exchange rates (CER) due to competition from generics. The previously announced restructuring programme has been expanded to deliver a total of USD1.1bn of annual benefits and the dividend for the full year is USD2.80. It added that it expects a low to mid-single digit percentage decline in revenue at CER for 2014 and in percentage terms core EPS is expected to fall in the teens at CER. The company expects revenues in 2017 will be broadly in line with 2013.
SuperGroup IMS reports that group sales in the quarter rose 22.1% to GBP141.1m with sales in the 39 weeks to 26 January 2014 now ahead by 21.7% to GBP333.2m. As a result of focusing on full-price trading during the quarter, market gains during H1 have been maintained with it adding that it was well placed to meet market expectations for the financial year.