LONDON -- Next week is a busy week for news from FTSE 100 companies as first-quarter results time for those whose years end in December approaches -- and it comes after many of our biggest companies enjoyed a strong 2012. Here are three top firms reporting next week.
Associated British Foods (LSE:ABF)
Tuesday will bring us interim results from Associated British Foods, and according to February's pre-close update, operating profit will be up on last year thanks to a strong performance from Primark. First-half earnings per share should be "substantially ahead," though full-year expectations were unchanged at the time. Current forecasts suggest a rise in adjusted EPS of about 10%, and that is expected to be weighted toward the first half.
The Associated British Foods share price has had a great year, gaining 50% over the past 12 months to 1,829 pence -- though it has been even higher, touching 1,943 pence a couple of weeks ago. After that climb, the shares are on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 19.
ARM (LSE:ARM) (NASDAQ:ARMH)
We should have first-quarter figures from ARM Holdings the same day. ARM shares have been on a bullish run since last summer but have dropped back a little over the past couple of months. Since peaking at 985 pence on March 6, the price has slipped to 879 pence -- but that's still a rise of about 80% since June.
Full-year results for 2012 brought a 20% rise in normalized pre-tax profit to 276.5 million pounds, with EPS up 18% to 14.7 pence. The latest forecasts suggest earnings of about 19 pence per share this year, which would be a 30% rise. High-growth shares like this, of course, usually attain high P/E multiples, and ARM is no exception: The forward P/E for 2013 estimates is about 45.
GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK) (NYSE:GSK)
On Wednesday, we should have a Q1 update from GlaxoSmithKline, a constituent of the Fool's Beginners' Portfolio. And judging by the share price performance of late, investors must be expecting a good year: The shares are up 25% since mid-November to today's price of 1,658 pence.
For the full year, City analysts are forecasting EPS growth of more than 20% and are expecting a dividend yield of about 5%. That would put the shares on a forward P/E of about 14, which is close to the FTSE long-term average -- but with a better-than-average dividend.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Associated British Foods and GlaxoSmithKline. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.