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UK Earnings Preview – Thursday 8th February

Intermediate

Why are AstraZeneca’s Earnings so Important?

AstraZeneca is a leading global biopharmaceutical company renowned for its innovative medicines in areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory, and immunology. As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide, AstraZeneca’s earnings releases are highly anticipated and closely monitored by investors, analysts, and healthcare professionals. 

AstraZeneca

These releases provide critical insights into the company’s financial performance, pipeline progress, and future growth prospects. Given its significant contributions to healthcare advancements and its substantial presence in the pharmaceutical industry, AstraZeneca’s earnings reports carry considerable weight and influence market sentiment. Investors look to these updates to gauge the company’s ability to deliver on its strategic objectives, drive innovation, and sustain long-term value creation.

What to expect from AstraZeneca’s Earnings?

AstraZeneca is poised to announce its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, February 8th, 2024, amid high expectations. With a market cap of £160.60 billion, the company is forecasted to achieve an EPS of £1.16 and revenue of £9.48 billion, according to tradingview.com. AstraZeneca’s strong business momentum signals potential high-single to low-double digit revenue growth by 2024. 

Despite some challenges in stabilising the share price amidst losses this year, the upcoming earnings call holds promise, with anticipated gains in gross margins from a favourable product mix, albeit balanced by profit-sharing agreements. Overall, AstraZeneca’s earnings report underscores a positive trajectory, driven by robust revenue growth and potential margin expansion through prudent expense management.

Why are Unilever’s Earnings so Important?

Unilever is a multinational consumer goods company renowned for its vast portfolio of household brands, including Dove, Lipton, Axe, and Ben & Jerry’s, among others. As a global leader in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, Unilever’s earnings releases carry significant weight in the financial world. The company’s performance serves as a barometer for consumer spending trends, market sentiment, and overall economic health, given its widespread presence across various regions and product categories. 

Unilever

Analysts and investors closely scrutinise Unilever’s earnings reports for insights into its revenue growth, profit margins, brand performance, and strategic initiatives. Additionally, Unilever’s sustainability efforts and commitment to social responsibility add another layer of importance to its earnings releases, as stakeholders assess its progress towards environmental and social impact goals. 

What to expect from Unilever’s Earnings?

As Unilever (ULVR) prepares for its fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday, all eyes are on its sales volume performance. Despite third-quarter sales growth of 5.2%, driven primarily by pricing, concerns arose as volumes witnessed a decline. With a forecasted EPS of £1.06 and revenue expected to reach £24.71 billion, according to tradingview.com, the company faces expectations to maintain financial stability amidst challenging market conditions.

The upcoming report is crucial for Unilever to demonstrate its ability to reverse the sales volume trend, especially given the consecutive quarterly volume declines throughout 2023. Analysts anticipate a 2% year-on-year drop in December quarter sales, attributing it to consumer preference shifts towards cheaper alternatives amid high inflation. With Unilever shares down 6% over the past year and hitting an 18-month low recently, investors eagerly await the company’s strategy to address these challenges and sustain growth amidst changing market dynamics.

Why are British American Tobacco’s Earnings so Important?

British American Tobacco (BAT) is one of the world’s largest multinational tobacco companies, operating in over 200 markets globally. Known for its iconic brands such as Lucky Strike, Dunhill, and Rothmans, BAT has a significant presence in both traditional tobacco products and emerging categories like vaping and heated tobacco. 

British American Tobacco

The company’s earnings releases hold substantial significance due to several factors. Firstly, as a major player in the tobacco industry, BAT’s financial performance offers insights into the overall health of the sector and consumer trends related to tobacco consumption. Secondly, given the ongoing regulatory challenges and shifting consumer preferences impacting the tobacco market, BAT’s earnings reports provide crucial updates on its strategies to navigate these dynamics, including innovation efforts and market expansion initiatives. Additionally, BAT’s earnings releases often influence investor sentiment and stock performance, making them closely watched events in the financial markets.

What to expect from British American Tobacco’s Earnings?

British American Tobacco is gearing up for its upcoming earnings call on Thursday, February 8th, where it anticipates reporting an earnings per share (EPS) forecasted at £2.00 and revenue forecasted at £14.46 billion, as per data from investing.com. The company’s pre-close trading update in early December included a significant £25 billion impairment charge related to its U.S. cigarettes business, setting the stage for a pivotal earnings announcement. 

While BTI has a track record of meeting or exceeding analysts’ estimates for adjusted EPS, currency fluctuations add complexity to earnings predictions, especially considering BTI’s U.K.-based operations and reporting in sterling. Despite generating a substantial portion of its net sales in the U.S., currency effects may distort the underlying operational performance, underscoring the importance of understanding the impact of currency fluctuations on BTI’s financial results.

Check out our other earnings articles: UK Earnings Recap – Vodafone and BP and Weekly US Earnings Outlook.

Editor in chief

Steve Miley is the Market Chartist and has 32 years of financial market experience and as a seasoned expert now has many responsibilities. He is the founder, Director and Primary Analyst at The Mar... Continued

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