LONDON -- Next week promises a boatload of news for the FTSE 100, with one major set of full-year results and a number of interim updates to come. One of Britain's biggest consumer-brand owners? A share that consistently beats the FTSE? An airline whose value has doubled? We'll have them all, and more.
On Wednesday we'll have full-year results from Unilever, the producer of a large number of the U.K.'s most popular household brands. Third-quarter results released in October were looking good, with total turnover up 10.3% and underlying sales growth coming in at 5.9%. And those trends were reflected in nine-month sales, too, with growth slightly ahead of the three-month figures.
The City is expecting a 7% rise in earnings per share for the full year to December, with a dividend yield of about 3.3%. That would put the shares, currently trading at 2,430 pence, on a price-to-earnings ratio of nearly 19, which is above the long-term FTSE average of about 14.
We should have a trading update from SABMiller on Tuesday, and it will be keenly awaited. SABMiller owns a lot of well-known beer brands, including Miller Lite, Grolsch, and Peroni, and it dominates its home market in South Africa. The company's share price has achieved a remarkable record: It has beaten the FTSE All-Share index for 12 years in a row! And at 2,984 pence today, it's already ahead of the index this year.
For the year to March 2013, analysts are expecting a pre-tax profit of 2.4 billion pounds, with earnings up 12% on 2012. That really just reflects November's first-half results, which told us of a 12% rise in profits at that stage.
Land Securities (LSE:LAND)
Land Securities Group is due to release a third-quarter statement on Wednesday. The share price has gained about 20% over the past 12 months and currently stands at 816 pence after a strong second-half rise in 2012.
Land Securities owns and manages commercial property, mostly in London, and the value of its portfolio has been appreciating of late. After a crash in the depths of the credit crunch, earnings have been slowly recovering, too. There's a small fall of about 6% forecast for the year to March 2013, but there is a consensus for growth over the subsequent two years, with dividends in excess of 3.5% expected.
On the same day, we should have a first-quarter statement from Sage Group. The accounting and business management software specialist put in a solid performance in the year ended Sept. 30, with underlying sales up 2% and pre-tax profit up 4%, while earnings per share were down 4%. The dividend was lifted by 4% to 10.15 pence per share.
Sage's share price dipped in the early days of 2012, but it recovered to end the year pretty much flat overall, and it currently stands at 316 pence. With sentiment toward Sage's business looking positive, forecasts for the current year are suggesting earnings-per-share growth of 10%, putting the shares on a forward P/E of 14. There's also a dividend yield of around 3.5% expected, and that's pretty much in line with the company's recent record of annual dividend rises.
Looking outside the FTSE 100 for our fifth company for next week, budget airline easyJet has a first-quarter statement scheduled for Thursday. Results for the full year to Sept. 30 were pretty impressive, with revenue up nearly 12% and pre-tax profit climbing by 28%. With EPS up 19%, the firm was able to more than double its dividend to 21.5 pence. In the latest news we've heard from the company, December passenger numbers were continuing last year's trend, up 4.9% over December 2011, with rolling 12-months passenger numbers up 6.7%.
Since founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou led his shareholder revolt to get the company focused on creating shareholder value, the share price has soared, more than doubling over the past 12 months to today's 872 pence. And it's still only on a P/E of 12 based on current forecasts.
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 upward. 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.
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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Unilever. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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