LONDON -- We've been getting a few quarterly updates recently for the period ending March 31. But things will be heating up next week as we start to get annual results from companies with March as their year-end. We'll have quite a few FTSE 100 companies reporting throughout the month. Here are three for next week.
Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY )
Wednesday will bring us full-year results from J Sainsbury, and it's looking like they should be pretty decent. In its fourth-quarter trading statement, released in March, the supermarket chain told us that like-for-like sales were up 4.2% for the quarter and 2.1% over the whole year (3.6% and 1.8%, respectively, excluding petrol).
Current forecasts suggest a 6% rise in earnings per share, with a dividend yield of 4.4% on a share price of 386 pence. That would need a 4% rise in the dividend over 2012, and with the first-half dividend having already been lifted by 6.7% to 4.8 pence per share, that seems like a reasonable expectation.
But what of valuation? Well, the shares have gained 25% over the past 12 months, which is pretty good going. But even after that, they're on a P/E of 13 based on these forecasts, and that doesn't look excessive.
Experian (LSE: EXPN )
It's Experian's turn to bring us annual results on Thursday, and the City is expecting a modest rise in earnings this year -- though there's a further rise of about 15% penciled in for 2014. At the third-quarter stage, the information services firm revealed 7% revenue growth and told us it expects "high single-digit" growth for the full year and a modest margin improvement.
The forecast dividend of about 22 pence per share represents a yield of 1.9% on the latest share price of 1,136 pence, and the shares are on a forward P/E of a little more than 20. That might sound a bit rich, but there is clearly some decent growth potential in this kind of business over the next few years, so a high rating is perhaps not surprising.
Those who bought the shares a year ago will be up 15% now, and there's surely a good chance of further worthwhile gains over the next five years.
BT Group (LSE: BT-A ) (NYSE: BT )
Finally, Friday will see the release of results from BT Group, whose shareholders have enjoyed the biggest share-price appreciation of the three we're looking at today -- at 280 pence, the price is up about 35% over the past 12 months.
But even after that rise, the shares are only on a P/E of about 11.5 based on March estimates. There's a dividend yield of about 3.4% forecast, which might not be one of the biggest but is ahead of the FTSE average of 3.2%.
At the time of BT's Q3 update, revenue was down 7% for the nine months to December, but pre-tax profit was up 8% to 1.86 billion pounds, and adjusted earnings had risen 9% to 18.4 pence per share.
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