The Week Ahead: Music And Booze

Published in Investing on 25 June 2010

Crunch time for HMV is looming, with 2010 results expected. And we’ll see results from Greene King and Carpetright too.

High Street Crunch

It could be make or break time for HMV Group (LSE: HMV) this year, as the company releases its full year figures on Wednesday. Once a high-flying high-street success story, HMV has struggled against online music and DVD sales, but has been fighting back with a turnaround strategy that included revamping its stores and focusing on new product ranges. However, at the time of April's pre-close update, things didn't exactly seem rosy, so investors will be checking the forthcoming news with some trepidation.

Vans and Booze

Other full year results include commercial vehicle hire specialist Northgate (LSE: NTG), on Wednesday. Economic conditions hit the company hard during the recession, leading to a loss for 2009 after several years of good profits. A return to profit is expected this year, though it should be quite a bit down on past results. But with a prospective P/E of only around 7, Northgate might be a good recovery punt.

Brewer and pub landlord Greene King (LSE: GNK) will also provide us with full year figures, on Friday. A second year of falling earnings per share is expected, but analysts are still optimistic about a dividend yield of around 5% and a start on the recovery road next year. Like many in the business, Greene King runs with a very high debt figure, so we'll need to keep an eye peeled for any change there.


How are the UK's housebuilding and home improvement industries going? Annual results from Carpetright (LSE: CPR) on Tuesday should hopefully shed some light, as the company's carpets and other floor coverings do end up in a lot of new builds. Another company hit by the recession, Carpetright is expected to bounce back healthily this year, with further improvement to come in 2011. There's a dividend yield of around 3% on the cards, and the company has little debt. But with a P/E of around 23 for this year (and 17 for next), the expected recovery is already in the share price.

We'll get some further clue about housebuilding on Monday with a trading release from Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW). Last month, David Holding reckoned the shares were a bargain, so maybe we'll get some confirmation that he was right.

Buses and Trains

We should also get a feel for the transport industry on Tuesday, with trading updates from bus and train operators Arriva (LSE: ARI) and National Express Group (LSE: NEX). Neither are looking particularly cheap at the moment, but Arriva does at least offer a prospective dividend of over 3%.

Notable announcements next week:

Monday: Creston, Senior, Taylor Wimpey
Tuesday: Assura, Carpetright, Latham (James), Scott Wilson Group, Pursuit Dynamics, Terrace Hill, Arriva, National Express Group
Wednesday: HMV Group, Northgate, Lookers, Tanjong
Thursday: Greene King
Friday: No major announcements

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