3 Shares For The Week Ahead

Published in Investing on 30 November 2012

We'll have news from some FTSE success stories next week.

As we head into December, results from FTSE 100 (UKX) companies are starting to drop off a bit, but we do have a some news coming our way. We'll take a quick look at updates from two FTSE 100 companies, and one of the larger of the FTSE 250 constituents:

Sage

Sage Group (LSE: SGE) is due to release full-year results on Wednesday, with current City forecasts suggesting there will be a 5% fall in earnings per share (EPS) this year. At the current price of 314p, that would put the shares on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 16, which is a bit above the long-term FTSE average of around 14. There's also a dividend yield of 3.4% forecast.

The developer of accounting and business management software has seen its shares going through an erratic patch this year. The price slipped to 248p in May after the release of interim results, with the firm reporting pretty flat sales and a modest 2% rise in underlying pre-tax profit. The first half was reported as "resilient", with the second half outlook being challenged by "a considerable headwind for a number of our European markets".

How the firm has coped with those tough conditions will be known next week.

TUI

TUI Travel (LSE: TT), the £3 billion FTSE 250 travel agent, will release its full-year results next week as well, on Tuesday. Current forecasts are pretty positive. There's no earnings growth expected, but that's perhaps not surprising in these tough economic times. But there is a dividend yield of 4.4% on the cards, based on the current share price of 270p, and that should be more than twice covered by earnings.

TUI Travel has had a much better time of things than rival Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG), which came very close to failure at the end of last year and was only rescued by a bailout from lenders.

TUI came through the slump much better, and shareholders have been rewarded with a very strong recovery this year. The shares were valued at 149p in mid-December 2011, meaning that the price is up over 80% since then -- and there's still that tasty dividend on offer.

Wolseley

Finally for today, we'll take a quick look at Wolseley (LSE: WOS), which is due to release a first-quarter interim management statement on Thursday. The building materials distribution company has been one of the big FTSE 100 success stories of 2012, with its share price more than 50% up on a year ago, at 2,889p today. It's not hard to see why.

After a series of encouraging noises throughout the year, final results released in October told of a 10% rise in trading profit at ongoing businesses, from a 5.4% rise in sales. Like-for-like sales were up 3.8%. That led through to an 18% rise in earnings per share, and allowed the company to bump its dividend by a full third, from 45p to 60p per share. A net debt figure of £523 million from July 2011 was also turned into net cash of £45 million.

I'm looking for ward to hearing what kind of start Wolseley's new year is off to.

Finally, the secret to becoming rich from shares is simple long-term investing in fundamentally sound companies, and letting steady growth and dividends power your wealth upwards.

That's why it's always worth keeping abreast of what news is coming our way each week, and doing some background research on promising-looking candidates.

Achieving that near-mythical millionaire status might seem like a pipe dream, but it really is feasible for ordinary everyday investors like you and I. But if you have your doubts, read this free Motley Fool report and see if you change your mind. The report won't cost you a penny, so click here to have a copy delivered to your inbox while it's still available.

> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.

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