Weekly outlook: Will EasyJet overcome cost-of-living turbulence?

Key events for UK wealth managers for the week starting 15 May

Monday 15 May

  • – Trading update from Currys
  • – In Japan, quarterly results from Kyocera and Dentsu
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Siemens Energy and Vantage Towers
  • – In the USA, quarterly results from Nu and Tower Semiconductor

Tuesday 16 May

  • – Full-year results from Vodafone, DCC and Boohoo
  • – First-half results from On The Beach, Marston’s and Britvic
  • – Trading statement from Greggs
  • – Chinese fixed asset investment, retail sales and industrial production growth
  • – UK unemployment and wage growth
  • – German ZEW economic survey
  • – US retail sales
  • – US industrial production and capacity utilisation
  • – US NAHB housebuilding industry survey
  • – In Asia, quarterly results from Baidu, Sea and Singapore Airlines
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Ubisoft
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Home Depot and Tencent Music

Wednesday 17 May

  • – Full-year results from Experian
  • – Full-year results from British Land

There have been concerns about the health of the commercial property sector as interest rates have ratcheted up and demand for office space has shrunk, but Susannah Streeter, Hargreaves Lansdown’s head of money and markets, said British Land’s “shape-shifting” strategy has put it in a more resilient position.

Streeter added: “Its focus on higher end campus developments combining topflight workspaces, along with leisure retail and hospitality facilities appears to be paying off, with rents rising.

“Investors will be keeping an eye on average lease lengths which have pleasingly crept up to from 5.8 to 5.9 years, while occupancy rates also edged upwards to 96.7% so any drop off here will disappoint. Although higher interest rates have lifted rents which has been beneficial to the group, they have also knocked the value of the group’s portfolio.”

Streeter also noted that the company is offloading parts of its estate, which is likely to hit revenues in the short term. As a result, she said its pick of new projects will be closely watched, given that the broad retail sector is a tough place to be right now.

  • – First-half results from Sage and Mitchells & Butlers
  • – Trading updates from Keller and Coats 
  • – EU inflation
  • – US housing permits
  • – US housing starts
  • – US weekly oil inventories
  • – In Europe, quarterly results from Siemens, Commerzbank, Iliad, Aegon and Vallourec
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Cisco, Target and Take-Two Interactive

Thursday 18 May

  • – Full-year results from Burberry, National Grid, Premier Foods and Future
  • – Full-year results from BT

Shares in BT are up by more than 35% since the start of the year, a super run according to AJ Bell’s Russ Mould and Danni Hewson. However, the picture is not so rosy over the longer term, with shares down nearly 15% over the last 12 months, and trading around where they were in the early 1990s.

Mould and Hewson said the reasons behind the telecoms giant’s storming run of late are not easy to find, but postulated that bid speculation could be one of them. The pair noted the ongoing merger and acquisition activity in the industry, and drew attention to the 18% stake that French telecoms magnate Patrick Drahi has in the company. However, they questioned whether the UK government would permit a takeover.

Despite cost savings of over £1bn that came from BT Sport’s merger with Discovery Eurosport UK, Mould and Hewson said the firm’s third-quarter results were uninspiring, and expected Ebitda and free cash flow to be at the bottom of end of management’s guidance range.

  • – First-half results from EasyJet

EasyJet’s H1 results are following hot on the heels of results from British Airways owner IAG, which has upgraded full-year expectations thanks to buoyant demand. Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, noted that EasyJet is more focused on short-haul flights, which she said seems more resilient in the current climate. “After all, a quick skip to Spain is more attainable than a stint in New York while incomes are under pressure,” Lund-Yates said.

She added: “The important figure will be forward bookings. IAG said about 80% of its available summer capacity had been sold and we’re cautiously optimistic that EasyJet will at least match this.

“The other number to watch for is the so-called load-factor. This essentially tells you how full planes are, on average. A higher load factor has enormous benefits for profits.

“It also plays into an area of strength for EasyJet, which is the group’s very strong ancillary revenues. These are the extras like legroom, extra luggage and food. This area has long been a cornerstone of what sets easyJet apart, and we’d like to see continued progress.”

  • – Trading statement from ConvaTec
  • – US existing homes sales
  • – US weekly unemployment claims
  • – In Asia, quarterly results from Alibaba
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Wal-Mart, Applied Materials and Manchester United

Friday 19 May

  • – Full-year results from IQE
  • – Trading update from Smiths Group
  • – GfK UK consumer confidence survey
  • – G7 meeting starts in Hiroshima, Japan
  • – In the US, quarterly results from Deere and FootLocker

About the author

Latest Stories