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UK stock market week ahead : Halfords, Gulfsands Petroleum, Johnston Press

31/03/2012 by about : Week Ahead - 1 Comments - 416 words

2nd April 2012 It remains to be seen how stock markets will greet Spain's extraordinary $36 billion austerity budget.

So far, this year FTSE 100 has priced out Eurozone concerns on a flood of improved domestic data. The UK main index continues just shy of the 6000 level. Some sort of correction would not be unexpected.

A relativley quiet day Monday in the run up to Easter with Andor Technology, InternetQ, Nationwide Accident Repair Services, Toumaz and on Tuesday Gulfsands Petroleum, Huntsworth and biotech firm Vernalis all presenting trading updates.

Johnston Press was to present its annual results but these are postponed until 25th April.

The shares have staged something of a mini-recovery so far this year, from lows of 3.2p but Johnston Press has indicated that it is 'in discussions' with lenders over a three year extension to its credit facilities. The shares duly back tracked by 15% as investors await the crucial outcome.

Gulfsands Petroleum full year results expected to show a pretty good 2011 although the company operates mainly in Syria and has admited that its business is currently impacted by cashflow problems even if it has maintained production. Shares also currently down against recent trends.

On Wednesday Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust, Burford Capital, Shanks Group.

$300 million publicly-traded investment fund Burford Capital was recently amongst Investors Chronicle Tips of the Week saying that the firms intrinsic merits make the shares a good diversified play in any equity portfolio.

Reporting Thursday easyJet, Victrex, Sandvine Corp, Booker Group, Halfords Group and recruitment firm Robert Walters.

Robert Walters provides a first quarter statement expected to confirm continuation of recovery in placements and profits since 2009 caused by the credit crunch. Dividend payout is expected to continue at around 2.2% based on 2012 forecasts.

Cycles retailer Halfords reported a fall in retail sales in its third quarter, offer its latest trading update on Thursday. Credit Suisse had them rated 'outperform at Christmas. The shares currently yield around 7% on a PE ratio of 9.

Cash-and-carry supplier Booker Group supplies a fourth-quarter trading update on the same day and the city is expecting a continuation of steadily rising profits. The shares have risen strongly through the downturn and currently on a prospective P/E of 20.

Markets are closed on Friday for easter Bank Holiday and there is no scheduled company reporting.


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Marcus GARvey

31/03/12 09:27AM

30 words

On the 21st March 2012, Danny Cammiade an Executive Director of Johnston Press bought 1,615 shares in the company at a price of 7.70p. The Director now holds 1,306,278 shares.

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