The Week Ahead: Japan GDP, UK inflation, EasyJet and Vodafone results


The post-US election week is going to see some major GDP and economic data announcements including Japan’s preliminary GDP results for the third quarter as well as the UK’s CPI data for October.

Fund Strategy looks at some key events shaping the week and what to expect.

Monday 14 November

  • EU Industrial Production statistics
  • Japan GDP – Q3 (preliminary)
  • William Hill (Q3 trading update)

The Share Centre investment research analyst Graham Spooner says: “William Hill has had an interesting time of late with a number of merger offers emerging from peers including 888, Rank and most recently Canadian group Amaya.

“Expectations for this update have been raised by the group’s comments in August that it had made a good start to the second half and expected full year operating profit to be at the top end of the previously given range of £260m-£280m. Good recent figures from Paddy Power Betfair may also indicate better signs for the sector.”

Tuesday 15 November

  • UK Consumer Price Indices including inflation target – October 2016, ONS

Last month, UK inflation rose sharply to 1 per cent.

The Share Centre says: “The falls in the pound seen over the last few months are likely to exert pressure on inflation for some time. On the other hand, in October 2015, month on month inflation was plus 0.1 per cent; this data will fall out of the equation that makes up the annual inflation rate, to be replaced by the month on month rate for October 2016. This will need to be more than 0.1 per cent for the annual inflation rate to rise.”

  • EasyJet (Full year results)

Spooner says: “EasyJet’s shares have been suffering from turbulence for most of this year so the market will be hoping for some good news in these results. There was precious little of that the last time we heard from the company in October when it reported a 8.7 per cent drop in revenue per seat in the final quarter and lowered its full year profit guidance to £490m-£495m.

“The market will be especially interested to hear if there is any change in the expectations for a further drop in revenue per seat in the first quarter of the new financial year. Rival Ryanair produced some good figures recently but Easyjet’s latest monthly passenger stats were slightly disappointing.”

  • Vodafone (Q2 results)

“Investors will hope to see a sustained turnaround in the group’s European operations which showed growth in sales in the region during the first quarter after a poor few years,” says Spooner.

He says: “There will be expectations of continued good growth rates in the emerging markets and demand for data services as 4G coverage in Europe increases. Investors will be keen to hear of further partnerships or acquisitions.”

Wednesday 16 November

  • Barratt Developments (Q1 trading update)

Spooner says: “The housebuilders have been surprisingly resilient after the EU Referendum as consumers remain buoyant, supported by mortgage availability and low interest rates. Just like the peers, we would expect Barratt Developments to report rising completions and average prices to help drive revenue higher.

“Investors however, will be looking for any signs of weakness such as customer footfall, forward order books and the management’s land acquisition strategies. It has been notable that other housebuilders have expressed more caution on land acquisition.”

Thursday 17 November

  • Royal Mail (Q2 results)

Spooner says: “Royal Mail will be continuing its restructuring, as a result of the decline in the letters part of the business and the boom in parcels, on the back of internet shopping. In recent years management have been improving the performance and cutting costs. These results will come ahead of the most important run up to Christmas period so investors focus will be focused more on the outlook than the past six months.”

  • EU Inflation, October – Eurostat
  • US Consumer Price Index, October – Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • US Real Earnings, October – Bureau of Labor Statistics

Friday 18 November

  • Chesnara (Interim management statement)

Spooner says: “This life insurance group continues to generate good cash flows and dividend pay-outs. Investors will be keen to see if there was any Brexit impact in the last quarter, although management were confident that it would be relatively immune. Investors will also lookout for news of any acquisitions along with the solvency ratio and further statements will be welcome on the FCA investigation into the CountryWide Assured business.”