5 Dates For Your November Diaries

Published in Investing on 31 October 2012

We have some key November company news that could make a big difference to your wealth.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) has been erratic during October, falling on eurozone economic fears, rising when we heard the UK was out of recession, and dropping back on renewed US earnings fears... The index of top UK shares is currently around the 5,830 level, so it looks set to end October about 80 points up on the month.

But what's coming our way during November? Well, we have quite a few important dates from some big companies...

Marks & Spencer - 6 November

Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS), the high-street department store that has had such a tough time, will report its interim figures next Tuesday, and expectations are high. The share price has recovered from a dramatic slide earlier in the year, and is now more than 25% up over the past 12 months, standing at 396p.

Current forecasts suggest a fairly flat couple of years from an earnings perspective, but with a well-covered dividend around the 4.5% mark. And at the first-quarter stage in July, we were told of good progress in the move towards multi-channel retailing.

Vodafone - 13 November

On 13 November, we're expecting interim figures from Vodafone (LSE: VOD), a constituent of the Fool's Beginners' Portfolio.

The Vodafone share price has fallen back over the past few months, to 173p today from a high point of over 190p. That's largely due to brokers having cut back their full-year forecasts, with the most recent suggesting flat earnings per share for the year and a dividend of around 6%. That's a pretty good payout, but the City was forecasting over 7% earlier in the year. July's quarterly update was in line with a flat earnings year this year.

Sainsbury - 14 November

The UK's supermarkets have had a very mixed year this year, with J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) pretty much wiping the floor with Tesco (LSE: TSCO) and Morrisons (LSE: MRW). The Tesco share price has remained in the doldrums after a disappointing 2011 Christmas, and the price of Morrisons has slumped. But Sainsbury shares have climbed nearly 25% over the past 12 months.

Even after the rise, current forecasts suggest we'll be enjoying a full-year dividend of more than 4.5% from Sainsbury, and the firm's second-quarter trading statement a few weeks ago indicated nice growth at the halfway point.

Those interim figures should be with us on 14 November.

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Halfords - 21 November

Halfords (LSE: HFD), which has had a roller-coaster ride, will release interim figures on Wednesday 21 November. The firm, which took over and rebranded the old Nationwide Autocentres (now Halfords Autocentres) just before the economic slump, saw its earnings fall as British belts were tightened. And the share price followed suit, falling as low as 189p earlier this year.

But the price has perked up again of late, and has recovered as far as 350p today. Analysts' forecasts for the year to March are pretty varied right now, but the most likely full-year dividend payout looks to be around 4-4.5%, which should be covered by earnings about 1.5 times.

Britvic - 28 November

Britvic (LSE: BVIC) is due to release full-year results on Wednesday 28 November.

The beverage producer suffered a serious setback earlier in the year when it discovered flaws in the design of bottle caps on two of its most popular drinks. That led to a recall and a reversion to the previous design, and the shares crashed as low as 250p. But since then, the price has recovered to 360p, which is not disastrously below its pre-crash high of 402p.

The other big news from Britvic is the firm's planned merger with AG Barr (LSE: AG), and we got an update on progress today. Apparently "substantial progress has been made and the two parties are now at an advanced stage of discussions". The deadline for a final announcement has been delayed, with the agreement of the Takeover Panel, until results day on 28 November.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Halfords and Tesco, and has recommended shares in Vodafone.

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