Bovis Homes, Ocado and Micro Focus all due to report on a busy Tuesday

After a relatively quiet start to the week, the news flow is set to ratchet up on Tuesday as a host of big names publish updates of one kind or another

ocado vans
Ocado investors will want an update on the M&S joint venture

Ocado’s joint venture with Marks and Spencer PLC (LON:MKS) is likely to be a key focus when the online grocer reports its interims on Tuesday.

The company’s shares received a boost in February when it announced the agreement to help M&S launch an online grocery delivery service for the first time. The £1.5bn deal has provided Ocado with funds to support the expansion of warehouses.

“Investors will be looking for an update on the M&S venture as well as any progress in rebuilding the Andover warehouse, which suffered from a major fire earlier in the year,” analysts at The Share Centre said in a preview.

“The market will also be interested in any comments on prospects for further deals with major supermarket groups around the world to develop automated warehouses.”

The fire at Andover carved about 1.2% off sales in the first quarter but the FTSE 100-listed firm’s retail revenue still rose by 11.2% to £404.0mln. The Andover warehouse accounts for about 10% of Ocado’s capacity.

Investors looking for more of the same from Robert Walters

Despite the political and economic uncertainty engulfing the UK and many other countries right now, specialist recruiter Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA) has managed to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

The London-based group reported a “solid” first quarter when it last updated the markets back in April, and investors will be looking for more of the same in Tuesday’s first-half update.

Growth has come from all of its markets in recent months, including the largest region, Asia Pacific, and its home UK market, where hiring has continued despite the ongoing Brexit shenanigans.

More reassurance wanted from Micro Focus

Legacy software specialist Micro Focus International PLC (LON:MCRO) has seen its share price mount a strong recovery over the past year after shocking the market in March 2018 by parting ways with its then chief executive Chris Hsu and slashing its revenue guidance.

Since then the market has been reassured over the group’s performance following issues with integrating assets from HPE Software that had caused the downgrade last year.

As a result, few surprises are expected in Tuesday’s interims, particularly given a trading update in May that said the figures would be in line with previous guidance.

The focus therefore will be on whether Micro still expects its full year revenues to fall by 4-6%, has any acquisitions in the pipeline, and any prospects for shareholder returns.

Analysts at UBS are expecting the firm to report sales of around US$1.6bn, down 6% organically year-on-year, with underlying earnings (EBITDA) of US$684mln.

Brexit relief hoped for from Photo-Me

Photo booth kiosk operator Photo-Me International PLC (LON:PHTM) has already been hit by the Brexit gloom after cutting its profit expectations for the year due to worse-than-expected trading in the UK.

Therefore, investors will be hoping that the ongoing uncertainty regarding the UK’s exit hasn’t caused the group’s situation to deteriorate further when it delivers its final results on Tuesday.

Instead, the company may increasingly point to its better-performing operations in Japan following a restructuring as well as its more stable business in continental Europe.

Significant events expected on Tuesday July 9:

Trading updates: Bovis Homes PLC (LONLBVS), Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA)

Interims: Ocado PLC (LON:OCDO), Micro Focus International PLC (LON:MCRO), Amino Technologies PLC (LON:AMO), RM Plc (LON:RM.)

Finals: Synnovia PLC (LON:SYN), Photo-Me International PLC (LON:PHTM), Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS), Knights Group Holdings PLC (LON:KGH), K3 Business Technology PLC (LON:KBT)

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