Weekly outlook: BP and Unilever to report

Key events for UK wealth managers for the week starting 5 February


Monday 5 February

  • Quarterly results from Vodafone
  • Purchasing managers’ indices (PMI) for service industries in Asia, Europe, the UK and USA
  • EU producer price (factory gate) inflation
  • In Japan, quarterly results from Mitsubishi Electric
  • In the US, quarterly results from McDonald’s, Caterpillar, NXP Semiconductor, Estee Lauder, Simon Property, Palantir, ON Semiconductor and Coherent

Tuesday 6 February

  • Full-year results from SThree and Wynnstay
  • First-half results from Renishaw
  • Trading update from Virgin Money UK
  • BRC UK retail sales
  • UK construction industry purchasing managers’ index (PMI)
  • Interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia
  • German factory orders
  • EU retail sales
  • In Japan, quarterly results from Toyota Motor and Nintendo
  • In Asia quarterly results from SMIC
  • In Europe, quarterly results from UBS, Intesa SanPaolo and Infineon
  • In the US, quarterly results from Eli Lilly, Linde, Gilead Sciences, KKR, Ford, Spotify, Snap, Omnicom, Yum! China and Cirrus Logic
  • BP fourth-quarter and full-year results

Oil giant BP will release its Q4 and annual results on Tuesday. The firm’s share price has fallen slightly over the last year, reflecting decreases in oil prices and a decline in natural gas exploration and production.

Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, Danni Hewson, AJ Bell head of financial analysis, and Dan Coatsworth, AJ Bell investment analyst, said: “In very general terms, BP quantifies its profit sensitivity at $340m (£266.2m) to every $1 change in the price of a barrel of oil and $30m to every $0.10 change in the price of natural gas, as benchmarked by the American Henry Hub price.

“Those sensitivities help to inform analysts’ consensus forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2023 and therefore for the full year. On a quarterly basis, profits are expected to be down from both Q3 2023 and Q4 2022.”

Wednesday 7 February

  • Full-year results from Smurfit Kappa
  • First-half results from PZ Cussons
  • Trading update from DCC
  • Halifax UK house price index
  • German industrial production
  • US oil inventories
  • In Japan, quarterly results from Softbank
  • In Asia, quarterly results from Alibaba
  • In Europe, quarterly results from TotalEnergies, Equinor, Deutsche Bank, Vestas Wind Systems, Ørsted, Carlsberg, AkzoNobel, Pandora, Siemens Energy and Kindred
  • In the US, quarterly results from Walt Disney, Uber, Arm, PayPal, Yum! Brands, Roblox, Fox, News Corporation, Coty, New York Times and Mattel

Thursday 8 February

  • Full-year results from AstraZeneca and British American Tobacco
  • First-half results from Redrow
  • Trading updates from SSE, Compass, Anglo American, Watches of Switzerland and S & U
  • Chinese inflation
  • US weekly initial unemployment claims
  • In Japan, quarterly results from NTT, Honda Motors, Renesas and Nissan Motor
  • In Europe, quarterly results from L’Oréal, Siemens, Kering, Credit Agricole, AP Møller-Maersk, Publicis, ArcelorMittal and Société Générale
  • In the US, quarterly results from Philip Morris, ConocoPhillips, Hershey, TakeTwo Interactive, Pinterest, ZimmerBiomet, Illumina, Baxter, Warner Music, Ralph Lauren, Tapestry and Harley Davidson
  • Unilever full-year results

Food and household goods producer Unilever will unveil its full-year results on Thursday, in CEO Hein Schumacher’s first annual results since taking over in July 2023.

Since taking up the role, Schumacher has outlined a three-pronged programme targeting faster growth, improved margins from productivity gains and an increased focus on performance.

“In the very near term, however, these fourth-quarter and full-year results to the end of December 2023 will be judged against the guidance given by Mr Schumacher alongside summer’s first-half results and then reaffirmed alongside October’s third-quarter trading update,” said AJ Bell’s Mould, Hewson and Coatsworth.

“First, the CEO flagged that underlying revenue growth for the year would come in above the top end of the long-term target range of 3% to 5%.

“Second, he added that price growth would moderate from the 9.4% seen in the first half while input cost inflation would ease too, adding €400 million to the cost base in the second half after a €1.6 billion increase in the first six months of 2023. That easing in price growth would suggest that even Unilever’s pricing power has its limits, which makes sense given the 0.6% drop in underlying volumes in the first nine months and the statement that 38% of brands were winning market share (which tacitly admits that 62% were holding or losing it).

“Finally, Mr Schumacher flagged there would be a “modest” improvement in the group underlying operating margin for the year against 2022’s 16.1% – still a good degree below the long-term aim of 20%, laid down by his predecessor, Alan Jope.”

Friday 9 February

  • Trading updates from Bellway and Victrex
  • German inflation
  • In Japan, quarterly results from Tokyo Electron and Mazda Motors
  • In Europe, quarterly results from Hermès, Coloplast, Mediobanca, Saab, Yara and Skanska
  • In the US, quarterly results from PepsiCo