Top US stocks to watch: Streaming stocks, Big Tech and IHS Markit

Big Tech remains under the regulatory spotlight, streaming stocks face new rules within the UK, IHS Markit beats expectations, Intel restructures itself, the CDC starts investigating heart inflammation cases linked to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and there’s IPO news from Dingdong and Embark.
Big Tech
The House Judiciary Committee will examine six antitrust bills today as pressure on Big Tech continues to create , potentially paving the way for them to succeed in the ground of the House within the future.

The bills primarily specialise in the role of the likes of Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon, all of which have opposed efforts to reform regulations for the tech industry. Two bills will check out how companies like Amazon and Google can establish platforms for other businesses to use then compete with them, with one proposing they sell assets to rectify the matter and therefore the other favouring new rules to prevent them from using these anti-competitive practices.

Another bill would ban Big Tech from acquiring other business unless it doesn’t directly compete with it, another is looking into how user data is handled, et al. are looking to boost the allow antitrust cases. The bills have sparked support and resistance from both Democrats and Republicans, with those against them arguing it stifles innovation within the country’s most successful industry and will weaken them against foreign rivals.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney
Reports have surfaced that the united kingdom is looking to shake-up rules for streaming services within the country, potentially paving the way for tighter regulations to be imposed on the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney.

There are currently gaps in regulations for streaming services. for instance , they are doing not need to abide by an equivalent rules as public TV broadcasters and, because they’re based overseas, can escape regulator Ofgem’s remit.

The government is about to consult on the difficulty this summer before making a choice on whether streaming services should be brought under an equivalent scope of rules as broadcasters.

IHS Markit
Information and analytics specialist IHS Markit beat expectations when it released second-quarter results this morning as all of its divisions reported growth within the period.

Revenue rose to $1.18 billion from $1.02 billion the year before, with adjusted Ebitda rising to $517.4 million from $454.0 million. That beat the $1.13 billion of revenue and $505.7 million of earnings expected by Wall Street.

Revenue from Transportation jumped 41% year-on-year, the overwhelming majority of which was organic. Financial Services revenue increased 11%, Consolidated Markets & Solutions was up 2% and Resources edged-up 1%.

Intel said it’s creating two new business units, one to chase the opportunities in creating new software and therefore the other to pursue new high-performance computing and graphics technology.

The company said Greg Lavender has joined as chief technology officer and takes charge of both of the new divisions. It also charged Raja Koduri with responsibility for its new computing systems and graphics group.

It also announced that it had been restructuring its Data Platform Group into two new units. the primary are going to be Datacenter and AI focused on data center and cloud-computing products led by Sandra Rivera. The second will Network and Edge Group, focused on networks, IoT and connectivity solutions led by Nick McKeown.

Pfizer and Moderna
A meeting of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will happen later today to debate the likelihood that the coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are linked to cases of heart inflammation.

The health ministry in Israel flagged the possible link earlier this month and therefore the CDC has been investigating cases of heart inflammation among young men for several months. Details of over 300 cases are going to be presented today, but this is often still a fraction of the 138 million-plus people to possess been vaccinated thus far , 20 million-or-so of which are below the age of 24.

Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley has warned that staff and clients won’t be ready to enter the bank’s ny and Westchester offices if they’re not fully vaccinated, consistent with Reuters.

The new rule is predicted to return into force on July 12 but also will scrap the necessity to wear masks or adhere to scoail distancing rules. Unnamed sources said people who aren’t fully vaccinated would need to still work remotely.

Tesla said it’s opened its first charging station in China using its own solar and energy storage systems.

The station is in Lhasa city and can be solar powered, storing energy for it to charge vehicles when needed. it’s utilising the technology from SolarCity, which it bought back in 2016.

Chinese groceries app Dingdong us aiming for a valuation of over $6 billion through its initial public offering and lift up to $357 million to assist cement its position in an increasingly competitive market.

The valuation would compare to the $5.1 billion tag achieved when Softbank invested within the business last month.

The listing comes as competition heats up from rivals including Alibaba-backed Hema, Meituan Maicai, Tencent-backed Missfresh, and JD Daojia.

Self-driving truck technology company Embark is about to travel public by merging with SPAC Northern Genesis Acquisition to boost around $614 million in cash and earn a valuation of $5.2 billion.

The proceeds are expected to fund the corporate until 2024 and none of the prevailing shareholders decide to sell shares as a part of the offering. the corporate is eagerly looking to commercialise its technology after testing out its self-driving trucks over the last five years.

Top UK Stocks to Watch: Berkeley Group profits return to growth

Berkeley Group says it remains committed to London, Persimmon and Aviva bow to pressure from the CMA over leaseholds, Vodafone’s European business goes green, Joules Group delivers impressive growth, and Liontrust Asset Management celebrates a stellar year.
Top News: Berkeley Group confident London can flourish again
Berkeley Group said it remains committed to London which the capital will recover from the pandemic because it revealed profit returned to growth during a troublesome year.

Revenue rose 14.7% within the year to the top of April to £2.20 billion from £1.92 billion the year before. It delivered 2,825 homes during the year at a mean price of £770,000. That compared to the two ,723 homes delivered the year before at a price of £677,000.

Berkeley Group had previously said profits would be broadly flat from the £503.7 million booked within the last fiscal year , but surprised the markets with pretax profit of £518.1 million this morning. That was also before the £516.5 million forecast by analysts. Although the return to growth are going to be welcome, profits are still way below the £775.2 million delivered within the 2019 fiscal year .

Basic earnings per share rose 4.5% to 339.4 pence from 324.9p.

Berkeley Group reaffirmed its commitment to return a minimum of £280 million to shareholders annually through to 2025 via dividends and buybacks, but it’s likely to return considerably more to investors within the new fiscal year . the corporate dished out £145.5 million in dividends during the year and an extra £188.6 million in buybacks for a complete of £334.1 million, which was up from £280.3 million the prior year.

It said it intends to return £222 million of scheduled returns within the new fiscal year and an extra £228 million of surplus capital this September through a replacement share scheme which will be followed by a share consolidation.

Berkeley shares have significantly underperformed its peers over the past year, partly due to concerns has greater exposure to London at a time when people are leaving cities, but said it remains committed to the capital and believes this ‘does not represent a permanent structural shift’ which the trends will eventually reverse and benefit Berkeley thanks to a scarcity of housing supply. Berkeley currently produces around 10% of all new private homes inbuilt London.

Berkeley Group said it expects annual output to rise by 50% by 2024/25 compared to 2018/2019 levels. the very fact 23 of its 29 long-term complex regeneration projects are now in production will go an extended thanks to supporting that ambition.

‘We ended the year in great shape, with net cash of £1.1 billion, cash due on forward sales of £1.7 billion and therefore the estimated future margin of profit in our land holdings increased to £6.9 billion, with an extra £0.6 billion within the near-term pipeline,’ said chief executive Rob Perrins.

‘This may be a very strong platform from which to continue serving the foremost under supplied housing markets within the country once the disruption caused by the pandemic dissipates and London is again ready to flourish as a worldwide destination for culture, entertainment, education, recreation and business,’ he added.

Where next for the Berkeley Group share price?
Berkeley Group share price trades between its flat 50 & 100 sma during a broadly neutral position. the worth has been trading during a tight range since early April capped on the upside by 4900 and on the lower band by 4450p.

The RSI has turned southwards and moved into bearish territory suggesting that there’s more downside to return .

A break below 4500 the 100 sma and 4450p the lower band of the horizontal channel could see the sellers devour traction and head towards 4195/4200 zone, a neighborhood which offered support several times across the beginning of the year.

Any recovery within the share price would wish to retake the 50 sma at 4625p and 4700p the June high, before testing the upper band at 4900p. Beyond here bulls could look towards 5300p the December 2019 high.

Persimmon and Aviva strike deal over leaseholds with CMA
The Competition & Markets Authority said it’s secured landmark commitments from Aviva and Persimmon that ought to help thousands of leaseholders across the united kingdom .

The CMA launched enforcement action against four housing developers last year, also as companies that had bought an outsized number of freehold sites then leased them out. the opposite three developers aren’t listed and named Brigante Properties, Abacus Land and Adriatic Land.

Aviva has pledged to get rid of all leasehold contracts that were doubling the quantity of rent payable by leaseholders every 10 to fifteen years and are now linking any increases to RPI. The doubling clause in contracts meant many leaseholders struggled to sell their properties on. Aviva is additionally repaying homeowners who were suffering from the doubling clause within the past.

Meanwhile, housebuilder Persimmon has promised to permit leaseholders the choice to shop for the freehold of their property at a reduction and can also make payments to previous customers who have bought their property.

Notably, Persimmon stopped selling leasehold properties back in 2017 so this is applicable to historic purchases.

‘This addresses concerns raised by consumers with the CMA, and native Trading Standards, that they were led to believe they might buy their freehold at a particular price, only to seek out out later that this price had increased by thousands of pounds with no warning. It also means those individuals who have already bought their freehold will receive a refund, meaning they do not miss out,’ the CMA said.

Persimmon is additionally getting to make it clearer to customers about the annual costs of shopping for a home and can give prospective buyers longer to exchange contracts once they need reserved a property after the regulator complained it had been too short and not giving buyers enough time to weigh up their options.

Persimmon, in its own statement, said it had been extending its existing Right to shop for scheme that permits leaseholders to shop for their freehold at below market price and said the ‘informal voluntary undertakings agreed today largely extend existing schemes Persimmon has in situ and are made with none admission of wrongdoing or liability.’

‘This may be a real win for thousands of leaseholders – for too long people have found themselves trapped in homes they will struggle to sell or been faced with unexpectedly high prices to shop for their freehold. Now, they will breathe a sigh of relief knowing things are set to vary for the higher ,’ said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.

‘It’s good that Aviva and Persimmon have responded positively to the present investigation, enabling these issues to be fixed for leaseholders. But our work isn’t done. We now expect other housing developers and investors to follow the lead of Aviva and Persimmon. If not, they will expect to face action ,’ Coscelli added.

Persimmon shares were trading 1.5% lower in early trade this morning at 2992p, while Aviva shares were down 0.5% at 414.6p.

Vodafone’s European network goes green
Vodafone said its entire European network – from its networks and data centres to its retail stores and offices – are going to be 100% powered using electricity generated from renewable sources from next month, marking a serious step toward its goals to be more environmentally-friendly.

‘From 1 July 2021, Vodafone’s customers across Europe are often reassured that the connectivity they use is entirely powered by electricity from renewable sources. this is often a serious milestone towards our goal of reducing our own global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, helping our customers reduce their own environmental footprint and continuing to create an inclusive and sustainable digital society altogether of our markets,’ said chief executive Nick Read.

The achievement forms a part of Vodafone’s ambition to be a net-zero carbon emissions business by 2030, and for its wider value chain to follow by 2040. Originally, Vodafone was getting to have its European network powered by renewables by 2025 before accelerating its efforts last year.

Vodafone said it intends for its operations across Africa to travel green by 2025.

Vodafone shares were trading 0.7% higher in early trade this morning at 131.44p.

Joules Group delivers impressive growth despite lockdowns
Clothing and homeware firm Joules Group said it delivered strong growth and returned to profit within the recently-ended fiscal year as its strong digital offering cushioned the blow from the lost sales in-store during lockdown.

The company said revenue rose 4% within the year to the top of May to £199.0 million rom £190.8 million the year before. While it had been a troublesome year for physical store sales, Joules Group benefited from its strong digital offering, growing customer numbers and therefore the added contribution from the acquisition of Garden Trading Co in February.

Retail revenue, which mixes sales made future and online, rose 9% within the year because the 41% fall in own-store sales was quite offset by a 48% rise in sales on its own websites.

‘The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of consumers, the extent of disruption and pace of change within the retail sector over the past 12 months has been truly unprecedented. i’m delighted that, against this backdrop, Joules has been ready to deliver a really solid financial performance and powerful strategic progress. This outcome primarily reflects, firstly, the strength and relevance of the Joules brand to an increasing number of consumers and, secondly, the increasing importance of our digital proposition both to customers and within our business model, with approximately 77% of our retail sales now generated online,’ said chief executive Nick Jones.

Joules said pretax profit before exceptionals should be within the range of £5.5 million to £6.5 million. which will be welcomed considering it booked a £2 million loss the year before, and is well before analyst expectations.

Despite the positive news, Joules Group shares plunged 9.4% in early trade this morning at 266.0p. Still, the stock has risen over 50% since the beginning of 2021 alone.

Joules has been encouraged by the performance of its stores since they reopened in April. Sales within the first eight weeks since reopening the doors are above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, Garden Trading has performed better than expected within the first few months of ownership, with revenue 78% higher year-on-year.

Joules Group ended May with net cash of £4.7 million and £39 million of headroom within its existing credit facilities.

‘As we enter the new fiscal year , Joules is now a stronger and more diversified business than ever before. The continued success and growth of our Friends of Joules digital marketplace and our strengthened position within the home, garden & outdoor sector following the acquisition of Garden Trading means we now offer significantly more products across more categories and supply our customers with more choice and reasons to buy with us. As a results of the strength of the Joules brand and therefore the increasing diversification of the Group’s digital-led business model, we believe that the Group is extremely well positioned to still deliver its ambitious growth plans,’ Jones said.

Liontrust Asset Management hikes dividend after stellar year
Liontrust Asset Management said it’s hiked its dividend after almost doubling the quantity of assets under management during its recently-ended fiscal year , during which it also delivered stellar growth in revenue and profits.

Revenue within the year to the top of March increased 54% to £164.0 million from £107.0 million the year before. It ended the amount with assets under management of £30.9 billion, almost double the £16.1 billion on the books a year earlier. Notably, that has increased further to £33.27 billion by June 18.

The independent fund manager said adjusted pretax profit increased 69% to £64.3 million from £38.1 million the year before, with reported pretax profit quite doubling to £34.9 million from £16.5 million.

Liontrust said it’ll pay a final dividend of 36.0 pence, taking the entire payout for the year to 47.0p, up 42% from the 33.0p paid out last year. That hike came as net inflows jumped 30% to £3.49 billion from £2.69 billion. Dividends have now grown by a mean of 33% per annum since 2017.

‘Liontrust has strong momentum and is well positioned to continue growing. we’ve excellent investment teams, with impressive long-term performance and investment processes. This has received extensive independent recognition over the past year,’ said chief executive John Ions.

‘We have successfully been diversifying our product range and distribution to make sure we will continue the rise in net flows,’ he added.

Equity Briefing: Berkeley Group, Joules Group and IHS Markit

Housebuilder Berkeley Group is thanks to publish full-year results this morning while clothing and homeware designer Joules Group is about to release a pre-close update. Information specialist IHS Markit is thanks to report second-quarter results later today.
Berkeley Group
Berkeley Group will report full-year results covering the 12 months to the top of April this morning.

Berkeley shares have significantly underperformed the broader market over the last year, trading up just 2% compared to the 26% rise within the FTSE 350 Construction & Building Materials index. That comes despite the housing sector remaining resilient during the pandemic, with construction allowed to continue during lockdown and therefore the market buoyed by the stamp tax holiday.

This is partially because Berkeley has greater exposure to London at a time when people are leaving cities, which has caused a drop by reservations and bookings. Plus, there are concerns that its decision to delay a number of its projects until the economy reopened could now cause problems as reports build that materials and labour are harder to urge hold of and costlier .

The housebuilder said in February that benchmark pretax profit should be largely in-line with the £503.7 million reported within the last fiscal year , but analysts expect Berkeley to surprise with a profit of £516.5 million. Still, which will be considerably less than the £775.2 million booked in 2019.

Berkeley has committed to returning £280 million per annum through dividends and buybacks and has done so since 2016.

Joules Group
Joules Group will release a pre-close trading update for the full-year to the top of May today.

The clothing and homewares company revealed in early May that revenue would are available above the £187 million expected by analysts which pretax profit before exceptional items would beat the £4.1 million forecast.

That provides hope that revenue could still grow from the £190.8 million delivered within the previous year and any profit are going to be welcomed considering it booked a £2 million loss the year before.

It has proven resilient during the pandemic because of its online sales and results have also received a lift from the acquisition of homewares firm Garden Trading Co in February, while store sales have picked-up since being allowed to reopen in April.

The focus are going to be on the outlook now that things are beginning to normalise and when Joules Group’s results can return to pre-pandemic levels.

IHS Markit
Later today, before US markets open, IHS Markit will release second-quarter results covering the three months to the top of May.

The company, which deals in providing critical information and data analytics, said it had made a positive start to the year when it released first-quarter leads to March because it began to see a robust recovery in its end markets, enough in order that it said full-year results would be at the upper end of its guidance ranges.

Analysts expect revenue to rise to $1.135 billion within the second quarter from $1.027 billion the year before. Adjusted Ebitda is predicted to rise to $505.7 million from $454.0 million while adjusted EPS is forecast to extend to $0.8 from $0.69.

Notably, IHS Markit is currently within the process of merging with S&P Global under a $44 billion deal struck last year, which is predicted to be completed before the top of 2021.

Chip company stocks to watch in 2021

Chip companies are within the spotlight thanks to the worldwide shortage of semiconductor supply caused by increasing demand during Covid-19 – and this high demand has been great for semiconductor stock prices. Discover how chip stocks have performed and therefore the companies to observe .
What are semiconductors?
Semiconductors, also referred to as chips, are utilized in electronic circuits to conduct current – but only partially, because the name implies. Most semiconductors are made out of silicon and are an important a part of all electronics. Without them, there would be no smartphones, radios, TVs or computers.

What are chip companies?
Chip companies are the companies involved within the design and/or manufacture of semiconductor chips and related parts. they’re thought of as a part of the technology sector but also are manufacturers – as like all manufacturer , a chip company’s supply chain is reliant on commodities.

Chip companies are the drive behind tons of trends because of their use in just about every sort of device . a number of the foremost prominent trends are:

Connectivity – including 5G mobile networks
Computing – like graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming
Healthcare – for instance within the automation of surgeries through robotic assistance
Military systems – like computers, sensors, switches and amplifiers
Transportation – most notably the increase of electronic vehicles (EV)
Semiconductor industry performance
Semiconductor stocks generally performed extremely well in 2020 as they were shielded from the continued health crisis by a boom in consumer electronic sales, also as cloud computing and online gaming.

And as demand for chips reached new highs, supplies ran low, causing a worldwide shortage of semiconductors. Demand for mobile-device chips was expected in 2020 with the shift to 5G but increasing demand for PC chips amid Covid-19, caused massive issues with supply chains. The chip shortage didn’t really hit the broader market until car manufacturers – including General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co – announced they’d need to halt production on some models thanks to the shortage of semiconductors.

If the shortage continues, it’s expected that this may only push chip stocks into higher valuations. In fact, most chip companies are reporting above expected earnings for 2020, surprising markets and pushing share prices even higher.

As a result, the PHLX Semiconductor index was performing well above benchmark indices the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite in February 2021. It had gained 433% within the past five years, compared to only 104% and 208% for every benchmark respectively.

The semiconductor industry remains extremely volatile, which may present opportunities for going both long and short. you’ll speculate on rising and falling markets with CFDs.

Ready to open an account? start trading chip stocks today or practise during a demo first.

Who are the highest semiconductor manufacturers?
The top five chip companies within the world by revenue are:

Intel – $77.9 billion 1
Samsung – $60.39 billion2
TSMC – $45.05 billion3
Broadcom – $23.88 billion4
Qualcomm – $23.53 billion5
Micron – $21.44 billion6
ASE Technology Holding – $17.12 billion7
NVIDIA – $16.68billion8
Texas Instruments – $14.46 billion 9
STMicroelectronics NV – $10.22 billion10
In terms of nations , South Korea currently leads with a 25% share of the world’s advanced chipmaking capacity, followed by Taiwan, Japan and China. The dominance of those countries, particularly China, caused concern for US politicians who believed it had been a threat to US commercial and military developments. US chipmaking capacity has plunged from a 3rd of the market in 1990 to only 11% in 2021.

Chip company stocks to observe
There are quite 750 companies within the semiconductor industry, all competing to create subsequent hot device or power future tech. So, with plenty to settle on from, your decision about whether to trade an outsized cap, mid cap or small cap conductor chip will depend upon your strategy and therefore the research you’ve done. Remember, past performance is not any guarantee of future results.

We’ve compiled an inventory of six popular chip companies to observe . While a number of these stocks also are on the list of largest semiconductor producers, there are some smaller companies that have also caught tons of market attention.

  1. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSM) shares
    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) is one among the most important independent pure-play foundries – businesses that only create chips and don’t have any design capabilities themselves. This leads most other semiconductor companies to outsource their manufacturing to TSM.

Taiwan Semiconductor has been one among the highest performing stocks within the industry but was a surprise star for several . TSM stock gained over 25.2% in January 2021 alone after Intel discussed outsourcing a number of its processor production to the corporate .

When the worldwide chip shortage occurred, TSM took matters into its own hands and has already checked out expansion opportunities in Japan and has secured a affect Apple (APPL) to develop a complicated display technology.

  1. Broadcom (AVGO) shares
    Broadcom may be a global designer, developer and supplied of semiconductor devices. In it’s Q4 2020 earnings, it reported a 11.9% revenue growth and 56.3% net growth. Semiconductor solutions’ revenues (75% of Broadcom’s total net revenues) totalled $4.83 billion, which was a rise of 6% from Q4 2019.

This boost was because of 5G sales coming in above expectations, which was because of increasing spending by telecommunications companies, also as higher cloud spending by data centres. Broadcom’s business model also includes a large enterprise software unit, a rarity within the semiconductor sector.

For the financial year ending October 2021, the chipmaker is predicted to earn $26.28 per share, which is a rise of 18.6% from the previous year.

  1. Qualcomm (QCOM) shares
    Qualcomm (QCOM) may be a semiconductor and telecommunications company that designs and sells wireless communications goods. Most telecommunications companies use its code division multiple access technology (CDMA) which may be a core component of wireless developments.

Qualcomm also creates Snapdragon chipsets for mobile platforms, which are designed to be extremely fast and efficient – they’re expected to be one among the most beneficiaries of the move to 5G connectivity. In fact, Qualcomm noted on its Q4 earnings call that its chips for 5G handsets were one among the core drivers of growth.

  1. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
    Advanced Micro Devices surprised the market in January 2021 with its record Q4 income statement – smashing all expectations for revenue growth and earnings. This was largely because of demand for the company’s higher-end processors – approximately 1 million units of its latest Ryzen 5000 processors were shipped during the quarter.

The company’s earnings were also boosted by the booming demand for semiconductors from cloud computing giants Microsoft and Google.

AMD was significantly underperforming compared to competitors about six years ago, with massive failures in its processing units. But now it’s dominating gaming computer processing units (CPUs), leaving competitors like Intel to scramble for market share. It still features a thanks to go before its market share rivals that of our top ten, but its growth thus far has put it on the radar of Wall Street.

  1. NVIDIA (NVDA) shares
    NVIDIA reported a record revenue of $5 billion for its Q4 2020 – which may be a massive 61% rise from the previous year. the corporate dedicated this achievement to its gaming and data centre platforms. NVIDIA has seen an enormous uptick in demand for its GeForce RTX 300 series GPUs, which enable gamers access to realistic graphics and cutting-edge AI .

As NVIDIA has always been a GPU manufacturer, it’s still miles before most other companies during this area – with spending on the tech expected to around $110 billion by 2024. But it’s other areas of revenue intake too, like its data-centre networking acquisitions and connectivity hardware acquisitions.

  1. Ambarella Inc (AMBA) shares
    Video chip developer Ambarella (AMBA) has burst onto most semiconductor stocks to observe lists after strengthening its position within the AI (AI) space. the corporate is creating a variety of imaging solutions to form cameras smarter, therein they will extract data from live video streams.

Ambarella’s products are utilized in a good sort of human and computer vision applications, including security, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), drive recorder, autonomous driving, and robotic applications. there’s significant optimism that this computer vision (CV) will still play a task in industrial automation.

Currently, Ambarella earns most of its revenue from Taiwan.

Top UK Stocks to Watch: Taylor Wimpey restarts dividends

Taylor Wimpey confident it can recover after a troublesome year, Renishaw shares pop to an all-time high because it puts itself up purchasable , Travis Perkins enters the red, and Flutter Entertainment’s revenues quite double.
Top News: Taylor Wimpey hit by lockdown but expects to recover in 2021
Taylor Wimpey said revenue and profits plunged in 2020 because it built fewer houses due to the pandemic, but said it had been resuming dividends and assured about its prospects thanks to its record order book.

The housebuilder said it only managed to construct 9,799 homes during 2020 compared to 16,042 homes in 2019. This was primarily thanks to a shutdown in activity within the second quarter of the year when the pandemic erupted, with construction levels returning to ‘near normal levels’ within the last half .

Notably, Taylor Wimpey said it still expects output in 2021 to be adequate to about 85% to 90% of the amount completed before the pandemic in 2019.

Revenue dropped by quite one-third to £2.79 billion from £4.34 billion. That, twinned with a way tighter operating margin of just 10.8% versus 19.6% the year before, saw operating profit plunge by 65% to £300.3 million from £850.5 million. Pretax profit was down 68% to £264.4 million from £835.9 million.

Taylor Wimpey is hoping its operating margin will improve to 18.5% to 19% this year and it’s still targeting 21% to 22% over the medium-term.

Taylor Wimpey said it had a record forward order book that stood at 10,685 homes at the top of the year, up from 9,725 at the top of 2019. Taylor Wimpey is 50% sold for 2021.

The housebuilder said it had been restarting dividends with a final payout of 4.14 pence per share. that’s underpinned by a robust record with net cash having climbed to £719.4 million from £545.7 million during the year, bolstered by over £500 million raised in equity in June 2020.

‘The 2021 selling season has started well, following on from the stronger than expected recovery of the housing market within the last half of 2020 and reflecting the underlying strength of demand, underpinned by low interest rates and stable mortgage lending,’ Taylor Wimpey said.

Where next for the Taylor Wimpey share price?
Taylor Wimpey shares are trading over 3% higher in early trade because the stock attempts to maneuver out of the holding channel within which it’s traded since early December.

Taylor Wimpey has pushed above its 50 sma sand trades above its 100 sma, whilst the RSI is supportive of further upside.

A meaningful break through the upper band of the channel at 172 could see TW head towards 180p and level last seen in early March.

However, 172p has capped several attempts to maneuver higher over the past three months. Should the resistance hold, a move lower to check the 50 sma support at 161p might be on the cards. an opportunity below this level could see the 100 sma at 150p tested, although this looks unlikely near term.

Flutter Entertainment sees revenue quite double in 2020
Flutter Entertainment said revenue and adjusted earnings quite doubled in 2020 because of its transformational merger with the celebs Group.

Flutter Entertainment said revenue rose to £4.39 billion in 2020 from just £2.14 billion the year before, with adjusted Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumping to £889 million from £425 million. That was predominantly because of the acquisitions of the celebs Group.

However, the acquisition costs weighed on its bottom-line, with pretax profit plunging to only £1 million from £136 million in 2019. No dividend was declared for the year.

The company said it had managed to take care of its leadership online, with 96% of its revenue coming from digital products. It said it’s maintained it leadership within the US with 40% of the web sports betting market and 20% of the web gaming market.

‘We delivered a really strong financial performance in 2020, taking advantage of our scale and diversification. We still grow our recreational player base across all key regions, in Q4 alone the group had over 7.6 million monthly online players. Nowhere has our growth been more evident than within the US where we’ve consolidated our #1 position during this crucial market, with customer economics that still exceed our expectations, finishing the year because the first US online operator to succeed in over $1.1 billion in gross gaming revenue,’ said chief executive Peter Jackson.

Flutter Entertainment said it had seen momentum integrate 2021, with revenue up 36% within the seven-weeks to February 21. Still, lockdown within the UK and Ireland means its physical stores are still closed and costing around £9 million in earnings per month.

Flutter Entertainment shares were up 0.4% in early trade at 14428.0.

Croda International ups dividend after mixed performance
Croda International said it delivered a record performance from its Life Sciences division during 2020, partly driven by its involvement within the distribution of vaccines and other pandemic equipment, which it’s restructuring other parts of the business that found it tougher .

Croda International said revenue rose 0.9% to £1.39 billion from £1.37 billion the year before, with core sales rising 2.2%.

Adjusted operating profit declined 5.9% to £319.6 million and fell 9.3% on a reported basis to £290 million. Adjusted pretax profit was down 6.7% to £300.6 million and dropped 10.9% on a reported basis to £269.5 million.

Still, Croda said it had lifted its dividend for the year by 1.1% to 91.0 pence from 90.0p in 2019.

Croda said its Life Sciences division had a record year as revenue jumped 14.6% and adjusted operating profit leapt 20.8%. That has been boosted by the acquisitions of Avanti and Iberchem during the year, and a serious contract to assist with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

It said it had been now combining its care , Home Care and Fragrances divisions to make one ‘market-leading Consumer Care platform’ after sales suffered during lockdown as people stayed reception and purchased fewer beauty and ‘going-out’ products.

Its smaller Performance Technologies division reported a 3.2% drop by sales and a fall in adjusted operating profit of twenty-two .2%.

‘While continued COVID-19 restrictions make the near-term outlook for elements of our Consumer Care and Performance Technologies sectors difficult to predict, 2020 sales exit rates were encouraging with consumer and industrial end markets showing signs of recovery. Life Sciences is predicted to stay strong. the advantages of recovery, along side the complete year impact of Avanti, Iberchem and our Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contract, are expected to support profitable growth across the business,’ said Croda.

Separately, Croda said it’s bought Alban Muller for EUR25 million. The French company creates and supplies natural and botanical ingredients for the worldwide beauty industry and generated EUR18 million revenue during the year to the top of June.

‘The acquisition expands Croda’s portfolio of sustainable active ingredients for patrons in care markets, complementing our industry-leading positions with Sederma and Crodarom,’ said the corporate .

Croda International shares were up 0.4% in early trade at 6320.0.

Fresnillo benefits from higher prices and lower costs
Fresnillo said production dipped in 2020 but that revenue and earnings both improved significantly because of higher prices and lower costs, because it hopes to cause new output capacity this year.

The gold and silver miner said silver production was down 2.9% in 2020 to 53.0 million ounces while gold output suffered a bigger fall of over 12% to 769,618 ounces.

Still, revenue benefited from higher prices and rose almost 15% to $2.43 billion from $2.11 billion the year before. gross profit margin soared over 90% higher to $879.4 million from just $461.7 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 73% to $1.16 billion from $674 million. Pretax profit leapt to $551.3 million from just $178.8 million in 2019.

The company said it’ll pay a final dividend of 23.5 cents for a complete dividend of 25.8 cents, which is up from 14.5 cents in 2019.

Fresnillo said production declined partly due to measures introduced to enhance safety during the pandemic, which has also delayed a number of its new projects. The miner said it the commissioning of the Juanicipio plant has been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2021 which it expects it to be running at 40% to 50% by the top of this year. Fresnillo said ‘Juanicipio are going to be a serious think about the group’s future silver production’.

Production also will be boosted this year by the new Pyrites Plant at the Fresnillo mine that was brought online within the final quarter of the year, although final inspections are delayed due to the virus. The new floatation plant at the mine designed to require lead and zinc has also been completed and will benefit output this year.

‘Looking ahead, silver volumes will rise by steadily increasing production at Juanicipio, and therefore the multiple ongoing operational improvement programmes to extend production at Fresnillo. Lower ore grade at Ciénega, along side a reduced activity at Noche Buena following a change to the mining sequence and therefore the fewer available areas because the mine approaches its planned closure, also as slightly lower volumes at Herradura, are likely to steer to reduced gold production. However, the longer-term prospects for gold are good, supported by the potential new mines at Rodeo and Orisyvo,’ said Fresnillo.

Fresnillo shares were down 0.8% I nearly trade at 898.7.

National Grid tweaks dividend policy as investment to rise
National Grid said annual dividend increases are going to be linked to CPI instead of RPI from the 2022 fiscal year because it warned it’ll need to invest larger sums over the approaching years.

The grid operator’s dividend grows annually in line with the Retail price level (RPI) and this may remain the case within the current fiscal year thanks to end in 2021. However, from the 2022 fiscal year , the payout increase are going to be linked to the buyer Prices Index including occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH).

National Grid said the choice had been made following the foremost recent review conducted by regulator Ofgem, which proposes rules on what proportion market players can charge and descriptions what proportion they need to spend and invest annually .

‘We expect to take a position around £10 billion of capex through the course of the 5 year control , across our electricity and gas transmission networks. At nearly £2 billion once a year on the average , investment are going to be substantially above the RIIO-T1 control ,’ said National Grid.

However, National Grid said it might be appealing against Ofgem’s methodology wont to calculate the value of equity, and said this may kickstart a six-month process if it’s accepted by the regulator.

‘We believe that the methodology Ofgem wont to set the value of equity ignores evidence for higher total market return and risk-free rate levels. We also maintain the view that the outperformance wedge, a downward adjustment to allowed returns in expectation of future outperformance, is conceptually and practically flawed. We were disappointed it remained within the Final Determination,’ said National Grid.

‘If the CMA accepts to listen to our appeal, the six-month process will begin from April. supported timelines for similar processes, provisional findings would be expected around July with Final Determinations in early October,’ it added.

National Grid shares were up 0.9% in early trade at 831.0.

European Open: Indices mixed, oil and energy lower, RBA hold rates

With no surprises by the RBA and mixed data from Asia, traders looked to weaker oil prices for a lead.
It was a mixed picture for equities across Asia today, with shares in Japan and China trading mostly lower, the ASX 200 essentially flat yet major indices for South Korea , Singapore and Taiwan were higher.

Only consumer staples and therefore the financial sectors closed higher for the ASX 200, with energy, materials and industrials each falling over 1%. Energy stocks were lower as oversupply concerns weighed on oil prices and sent WTI back to $60 before Thursday’s OPEC meeting. Yet volatility was contained overall. Gold resources (GOR.AX) was the weakest stock within the index, falling -7.5% in line with gold prices which touched fresh lows and fell to 1,706.

The Nikkei 225 was struggling following weak CAPEX (capital expenditure) data, which revealed that Japanese companies had cut spending on large equipment for a 3rd consecutive quarter as manufacturer’s continued to chop costs.

Forex: Dollar slightly bid, EUR/USD quietly breaks support
The USD is slightly firmer with the US dollar index (DXY) rising +0.2% to a 3-week high. EUR/USD quietly broke beneath the 1.2023 low in Asian trade but, with the 100-day eMA and 1.2000 handle in close proximity, we are on one’s guard for a false break and corrective bounce higher. USD/CHF closed above its 200-day eMA yesterday and costs have remained during a tight range near yesterday’s highs. subsequent major resistance is around 0.9200, which is around 45 pips away.

GBP/USD printed a 2-week intraday low but prices have since recovered back above 1.3888 support. Failure for bears to overcome this level could end in a minor, technically driven rebound. GBP/AUD nudged its was to a 2-day low following RBA’s meeting and traded back below its 100-day eMA. Last week’s rally appears to possess topped out after finding resistance at its 200-day eMA on Friday.

USD and CHF are currently the strongest major whilst GBP and CAD are the weakest. Although it’s been a quiet session overall with all pairs remaining well within their 10-day ATR’s (average true ranges).

Asian PMI’s still rally
South Korean manufacturing PMI expanded at its fastest rate in 11 years in February, reaching 55.3 and up from 53.2 in January. With new orders and output hitting 11 year high it paints a really rosy picture for global demand and, ultimately, global growth in H2 2021. New export orders also rose for a fifth consecutive month, with respondents highlighting domestic demand and from South Asia.

RBA keep policy unchanged in dovish meeting
The Federal Reserve Bank of Australia predictably held rates at 0.1%, where they expect to carry them until inflation rises comfortably within their 2-3% firing range . The RBA think the economy still operates with considerable spare capacity and “significant gains” for employment are required to satisfy their goals. Moreover, wage growth also will got to be “materially higher”. and that they don’t expect to ascertain this until 2024. Dovish it’s then!

It appears that Monday’s doubled-the-usual bond purchase may are a single-off event, as against a change in momentum as their statement made regard to bond purchases being “brought forward in the week to help with the graceful function of the market”. But they’re going to still answer “market conditions” (translates as ‘higher bond yields’) if and when need be.

The Australian dollar gave little response, although that would be expected since there was no element of surprise at today’s meeting. The ASX 200 spiked 70-points but now trades back near its opening price around 6,785.

USD/CAD focused for Canada’s GDP
With GDP data for Canada released later within the US session and therefore the recent rebound of the US dollar, we are seeking bullish opportunities on USD/CAD.

Recent price action on the weekly charts have made us question whether USD/CAD has already printed a big low. February’s candle produced a Rikshaw Man Doji and last week’s candle produced a “buying tail” (lower wick) after bears did not hold prices beneath the January 2021 and April 2018 low.

Switching to the hourly chart shows that a bullish engulfing candle formed at the 50-hour eMA and costs have now broken above its high to suggest a swing low is in situ . The low has also respected a 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level. Given the strength of the rebound from the 1.2465 low, we suspect recent price action to be corrective and bulls will attempt to target the highs around 1.2746/63.

German retail sales are expected to fall -0.3% in January, although there could also be potential for a downside surprise given lockdowns.

Canada’s GDP is predicted to 7.5% in Q4, a far cry from Q3’s 40.5% rebound but admirable none the less. A downside surprise should help lift USD/CAD in line with our bullish bias, whereas a stronger print could cap upside potential.

Vaccine optimism, a calmer bond market, stimulus & Zoom in focus

US regulators approve JNJ vaccine boosting hopes of a quicker reopening. The bond market stabilises leaving US stimulus & Zoom earnings after the closing bell focused .
US futures

Dow futures +1% at 31235

S&P futures +1% at 3848

Nasdaq futures +1.2% at 13070

In Europe

FTSE +1.3% at 6568

Dax +0.9% at 13918

Euro Stoxx +1.3% at 3683

Stocks cheers the covid stimulus bill progress

US stock markets are pointing to a stronger start amid a calmer mood within the bond market and leaving the main target firmly on the US covid stimulus bill which was voted on within the House of Representatives over the week and now makes its thanks to the Senate where it’s expected to be voted on next week.

Calmer bond market

After the bond market rout roiled financial markets last week, the image is notably calmer in the week . the ten year US treasury yield continued to ease back from its spike higher to 1.6% last week to current levels of 1.43%.

However, speeches by Federal Reserve System policymakers John Williams and Lael Brainard could well push the main target back on inflation expectations and therefore the bond market.

Manufacturing PMIs focused

The latest round of producing PMIs have revealed broadly upbeat readings; China being the notable outlier. China’s Caixin PMI dropped to its lowest level in 9 months, although the market has shrugged off the figures given the likely distortion from the Lunar New Year .

Final PMI’s were upwardly revised across Europe with the Eurozone PMI recording its highest level since 2018 as demand surged.

US ISM manufacturing PMI is due at 15:00 UTC.

FDA approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Reopening optimism is adding to the upbeat mood after the US regulators approve the Johnson & Johnson round covid vaccine. this is often the third vaccine to receive approval stateside and has the potential to hurry up the reopening process dramatically boosting risk sentiment.

Zoom earnings

One of the most beneficiaries of the pandemic has undoubtedly been Zoom. It’s share price has soared across the year from an IPO price of $36 in late 2019 and valuation of $9 billion to its current price of $370 and a valuation of $120 billion.

Revenue has also surged with Q3 seeing a 367% jump in revenue to $777.2 million, well before the $694 million expected and significantly up from Q1 2020 revenues of just $328 million. The share price has been on the decline since late October’s all time high of $588 because the prospect of a successful vaccine rollout and economies reopening have raised fears that growth will slow. So guidance are going to be closely eyed. Expectations are for EPS $0.78c.

FX – EUR shrugs off accelerating German inflation

The US Dollar is extending 0.6% gains from the previous week. US Dollar Index DXY +0.15% holding above 91.00.

EUR/USD – trades depressed versus the stronger USD despite German inflation accelerating in February. German CPI February jumped 1.7% vs 1% Jan and 1.2% expected. The ECB weekly bond purchases are awaited.

Analyst Fiona Cincotta looks at EU/USD price action and levels to observe .

GBP/USD trades -0.20% at 1.3906

EUR/USD trades -0.25% at 1.2045

Oil resumes uptrend

Oil along side other risk assets is on the increase at the beginning of the week due to the upbeat market mood. Investors still cheer the continued economic recovery and therefore the prospect of a vaccine led reopening of the economy.

Iran’s rejection of the EU and US’s invitation for direct nuclear talks is additionally underpinning the worth . Iran refuses to restart talks without the US first halting sanctions.

Attention will address this week’s OPEC+ meeting with chatter surrounding a production hike increasing.

US crude trades +2% at $62.25

Brent trades +0.4% at $64.81

Top UK Stocks to Watch: Entain raises takeover bid for Enlabs

Entain ups its bid for Enlabs, BT’s chairman announces plans to retire, Morrisons and McColls expand their partnership, Bunzl forecasts another year of growth after performing well in 2020, and Electrocomponents buys a second PPE provider.
Top News: Entain ups Enlabs bid to convert shareholders
Online bookmaker Entain said it’s raised its tender offer for Enlabs to SEK53 per share from its previous offer of SEK40 after some Enlab shareholders argued the first offer was too low, stating it’s a final offer which will not be increased again.

Enlabs creates entertainment and gaming content and claims to be the ‘largest iGaming operator within the Baltics’ with ambitions to become a number one online gaming business.

Enlabs shares have risen since the first offer was made and shares currently trade at slightly below SEK45 per share. The new offer values Enlabs at around SEK3.7 billion, adequate to around £316 million.

Some Enlabs shareholders had rejected the first offer from Entain but the increased offer has now won over the bulk of investors and therefore the Enlabs board.

‘In a highly competitive and controlled industry, where consolidation may be a key theme, Entain is in a position to supply the size and platform needed to further support Enlabs’ long-term growth, and that we firmly believe that Entain are going to be the simplest home for Enlabs, its employees and customers,’ said Entain’s chief treasurer and deputy chief executive Rob Wood.

‘Against this background, we’ve decided to form a final offer of SEK53 to all or any shareholders, providing a chance to exit their investment at a really attractive valuation. We are pleased that shareholders with around 51% have now irrevocably agreed to simply accept the offer and would urge other shareholders to try to to an equivalent by 18 March,’ he added.

Where next for the Entain share price?
Entain shares jumped over 2% in early trade. The stock trades above its 20 & 50 sma on the 4 hour chart in an ascending channel pattern dating back to mid-January suggesting a longtime bullish trend.

The RSI is additionally in bullish territory supportive further gains whilst it remains out of overbought territory.

Immediate resistance are often seen at 1465 the yearly high. A move beyond here could see the bulls attach the upper back of the ascending channel at 1485 before targeting the all time high of 1494.

On the flip side horizonal support are often seen at 1425 ahead 1400, the confluence of the 20 sma and therefore the lower band of the channel. it might take a move below the 50 sma at 1360 to negate the present bullish trend.

Morrisons extends wholesale affect McColl’s
Morrisons has extended its wholesale supply affect shop chain McColl’s.

Morrisons has been supplying McColl’s and converting its stores to Morrisons Daily. The pair said around 30 McColl’s stores had been converted in recent months which the extension will see 300 more outlets change brands. Morrisons also will still supply McColl’s stores for subsequent three years until 2027 as its only wholesale supplier.

‘McColl’s has been a crucial customer since 2017, and through that point wholesale supply has grown very quickly into a profitable business for Morrisons. We currently supply over 1,200 McColl’s stores, including over 230 of its biggest convenience stores which we’ve began to supply over recent weeks. Morrisons supplies McColl’s across all ranges, including brands and therefore the popular Safeway own brand, which we’ll be developing further within the coming months,’ said Morrisons.

Morrisons shares were trading 0.8% higher at 171.8 in early trade, while McColl’s shares jumped 9.2% higher to 26.2.

Bunzl expects another year of growth after strong 2020 results
Bunzl reported strong growth in revenue and profits during 2020 as its logistical expertise became invaluable during the pandemic, prompting it to boost its dividend and forecast another year of growth in 2021.

The international distribution and services group reported an 8.4% rise in revenue to £10.11 billion in 2020, with adjusted pretax profit jumping almost 24% to £715.6 million. On a statutory basis, pretax profit climbed almost 23% to £555.7 million.

‘The pandemic has served to spotlight the vital role that Bunzl plays in ensuring supplies of essential products also because the benefits of our diversification. As a results of our extensive supply chains and our Asia sourcing and auditing operation, we were ready to quickly source and deliver significant quantities of quality assured Covid-19 related products, like gloves and masks. Consequently, we were ready to offset the negative impact that restrictions had on many of our customers’ businesses, particularly within the foodservice and retail sectors,’ said chief executive Frank van Zanten.

Bunzl raised its dividend by 5.5% to 54.1 pence from 51.3p in 2019, marking the 28th consecutive year of dividend growth. Cash conversion remained strong within the year at 103% and net debt equals 1.5x Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, giving it many financial headroom.

‘Overall in 2021 we expect robust revenue growth over the prior year at constant exchange rates, after excluding larger Covid-19 related orders which we don’t expect to repeat. We anticipate that the recovery in sales of other products, as restrictions ease, will broadly offset the decline of smaller Covid-19 related orders, with recent acquisitions making an increasing contribution to the group’s performance. it’s a part of our proven and consistent strategy to use our strong record and cash flows to consolidate the fragmented markets we operate in,’ van Zaten said.

Notably, Bunzl said 2020 was the second biggest year for acquisitions within the company’s history because it unveiled three new purchases that ought to help fuel growth going forward. it’s purchased healthcare distributor Deliver Net, food-service disposable product distributor Disposable Discounter, and Canadian cleaning and hygiene distributor Pinnacle.

‘I am pleased to welcome Deliver Net, Disposable Discounter and Pinnacle into the Bunzl family. All three businesses demonstrate our continued specialise in growing Bunzl through the acquisition of top quality businesses. Further, these acquisitions demonstrate Bunzl’s continued acquisition momentum, with our pipeline remaining active and discussions ongoing,’ said Bunzl’s chief executive.

Bunzl shares were down 1.6% in early trade at 2191.5.

BT Group chairman Jan du Plessis to retire
Telecoms giant BT Group said its chairman Jan du Plessis has announced his plans to retire from the board before the top of this year. He will stay in his position until an appropriate successor are often found.

The chairman joined BT as a non-executive in 2017 and was appointed as chairman within a couple of months.

‘BT may be a fantastic company and it’s an enormous privilege and responsibility to be its chairman. But after 17 years of demanding roles as chairman of serious FTSE companies, i do know the time is now right on behalf of me to step down and specialise in other interests. Until I fork over to my successor, I remain fully committed to BT and helping Philip still deliver for all our customers, colleagues and shareholders,’ said du Plessis.

BT Group shares were up 2.2% in early trade at 125.68.

Aggreko says markets are recovering after being hit in 2020
Aggreko said it’s well placed to recover because the economy recovers this year after being pushed into the red during 2020.

The company, which hires out the likes of power generators, heaters and chillers to industrial sectors, said revenue slumped to £1.36 billion in 2020 from £1.61 billion in 2019.

The company reported an adjusted operating profit of £136 million from £241 million but was pushed to a £39 million loss when £175 million worth of outstanding charges were taken under consideration . These associated with extra costs booked due to the pandemic and write-downs of its power assets to reflect lower oil prices and therefore the transition to lower carbon technologies.

Adjusted pretax profit almost halved to £102 million from £199 million, and swung to a £73 million loss when the exceptional items were included.

The company said it had been paying a final dividend of 10.0 pence per share to require the entire dividend for the year to fifteen .0p. this is often up from the 9.83p paid call at 2019 when it only made an interim payout.

‘We enter 2021 well positioned for the recovery which we are seeing in our markets and this momentum supports our confidence within the business going forward,’ said chief executive Chris Weston.

Aggreko has seen demand increase for its Power Solutions division as contracts that had been delayed during the pandemic start to kick-in, and it’s also starting its work on the Tokyo Olympics that are thanks to plow ahead later this year.

‘We have also began our strategy for the energy transition, providing industry-leading commitments to be net zero by 2050, while achieving profitable growth and mid-teens ROCE within the medium-term. We are pleased with our progress within the transition so far , recently winning a solar-hybrid contract for a mine in Chile, and starting work on upgrading our Dumbarton facility into a hub for our net-zero initiatives. Reflecting the board’s confidence within the outlook for the business and our financial strength, we are proposing a final dividend for the year of 10 pence per share,’ he added.

Aggreko shares were down 0.4% in early trade at 800.8.

Electrocomponents buys PPE supplier John Liscombe
Electrocomponents has announced it’s bought John Liscombe, a ‘leading supplier’ of private protective equipment (PPE) and industrial safety gear, for £11 million.

John Liscombe supplies blue-chip customers within the UK and therefore the Netherlands. The acquisition has been made on a cash-and-debt-free basis and can boost adjusted earnings per share immediately, with the value of capital expected to be covered within the primary year.

The purchase builds on the recent acquisition of Needlers, which provides PPE to the food manufacturing sector. The pair are going to be combined and together, John Liscombe and Needlers ‘will provide a full range offer and expertise across key sectors within safety and PPE’.

‘The combination will enable the group to capture a greater share of wallet with existing customers and establish a meaningful presence during a product category during which we anticipate attractive underlying growth over the future ,’ said Electrocomponents.

Electrocomponents shares were up 1.3% in early trade at 983.0.

What to expect from the UK Budget 2021

The UK has already unveiled its roadmap out of lockdown and in the week we discover out the budget to travel with it. We outline what to expect from the united kingdom Budget to form sure you’re fully prepared.
Are you ready for the Budget?
Budgets are always market-moving events but the exceptional circumstances means this one could have a much bigger impact. GBP, the FTSE 100 and stocks are going to be among the assets responding to the news that comes out on Budget day.

When is that the Budget?
The Budget are going to be delivered by the chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday March 3. He will address the House of Commons at around 1230 GMT.

Coronavirus Budget 2.0: What to expect from the Budget
The Budget is when the govt introduces new policies associated with taxation and spending. It also reflects on the present state of the economy and forecasts are published to point out how it’ll perform within the coming years in light of any changes that are made.

While every Budget comes with its own unique tests, this one is arguably one among the foremost challenging of all time. The economy has been hammered and debt is piling up because the government has had to prop businesses unable to trade during the pandemic, then there’s the challenge of forging a replacement financial future for the country following Brexit.

The last time the chancellor outlined his vision for the country’s finances was back in March 2020, when he had to reply to the state being plunged into lockdown with what was dubbed the Coronavirus Budget. With the autumn Budget having been cancelled, this one are often considered Coronavirus Budget 2.0, where the govt outlines subsequent step of its plan.

The Budget are going to be aligned with the roadmap out of lockdown announced by prime minister Boris Johnson last month that aims to ease restrictions across the country in four steps, culminating in most lockdown rules being removed on summer solstice . The chancellor’s job is to form sure the economy is fighting fit when it’s allowed to reopen and to supply the kickstart it needs after months of being locked down.

The primary challenge for the chancellor is to strike the proper balance between providing further, albeit expensive, support to people and businesses within the remaining months of lockdown to stay the ship steady until lockdown ends, against the growing got to address the burgeoning debt pile which will need to be repaid at some point .

Sunak has said the Budget are going to be one that ‘provides support to people’ but that he also wants to ‘level with people’ about the impact the pandemic has had on the general public purse and the way the govt intends to deal with it.

UK government debt: How will it’s repaid?
The UK’s debt pile has soared to an all-time high of over £2.1 trillion as a results of increased borrowing during the pandemic. Supporting the economy has seen the govt borrow over £270 billion thus far within the current fiscal year , up from but £50 billion the year before, and therefore the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that would climb to as high as £385.5 billion by the time the year ends on March 31.

The chancellor has suggested he wants to stipulate how the govt will repay this debt, but this doesn’t mean he must take immediate action. People and businesses still need time to get over the toll of the pandemic and announcing measures but holding off on implementing them would offer time to organize .

Plus, with interest rates at record lows and possibly heading toward negative territory, the value of servicing all this debt is inexpensive, and a few argue this is often the right time to borrow extra money to take a position within the recovery. If the govt pulls existing support too early and fails to guide the economy back to health, then the recovery could falter.

However, not addressing the debt pile now might be seen as kicking the can down the road. there’s an argument that debt should be paid down now to avoid the danger of being deep within the red when the environment isn’t so favourable. the govt won’t want this level of debt if interest rates rise.

Will taxes go up within the UK?
The problem for the chancellor is that he must usher in more income if he wants to form a significant dent to the debt pile, but introducing new costs for people and businesses at a time once they try to financially recover is counterproductive.

He has the added problem that the Conservatives pledged to not raise tax , social insurance or VAT during their successful election campaign in 2019, potentially tying the chancellor’s hands and preventing him from toying with the three single biggest sources of income.

The government is keen to stay thereto pledge, but it can’t be ruled out that it’s broken considering it had been made before the pandemic erupted and therefore the exceptional circumstances that the country now finds itself in. Former Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke has suggested Sunak considers raising all three taxes to assist pay down debt.

Tax rises can therefore not be ruled out, but they’re likely to return into a force at a way later date, possibly in April 2022.

Will tax thresholds be frozen?
Sunak could get creative so as to take care of his party’s campaign promises. one among the more likely ideas reported to be in consideration is freezing tax thresholds. Currently, people start paying a 20% rate after earning £12,500 and 40% once they earn over £50,000. By freezing those thresholds, more people would pay more tax as wages increased, although this is able to depend upon a stable job market with rising pay.

Will corporation tax go up?
Corporation tax paid by businesses could also rise over the approaching years, with reports suggesting it’ll gradually increase from 19% today to as high as 25% by 2024. If that does happen, then the primary increase is probably going to be delayed to offer businesses an opportunity to recover before facing higher taxes.

Sunak is additionally likely to undertake to deal with the imbalanced impact the pandemic has had on some businesses over others. Whilst most businesses have struggled, some have thrived. The chancellor could invite extra money from people who have done well during the pandemic to assist support people who haven’t been as lucky. Reports suggest this might be achieved in several ways, like a one-off tax applied to people who have made excessive profits. The new Digital Service Tax on internet-based businesses could even be adjusted.

Will VAT rise?
The chancellor could look to tweak VAT surely products and services as how of accelerating income without adjusting the quality rate. for instance , this might see higher VAT applied to un-environmentally friendly products and services.

Will Capital Gains Tax increase?
One area potentially ripe for the taking is Capital Gains Tax. Reforming the tax has been within the pipeline for a few time. Currently, people pay less tax on their capital gains like once they take advantage of selling a property, company or shares than they are doing on their income, and there’s a growing chance that these two are going to be aligned by raising Capital Gains Tax.

This may encourage more traders to think about moving from trading CFDs, which is subject to Capital Gains Tax, to spread betting, which isn’t .

Will the lifetime pensions allowance be frozen?
Last on the potential moves on tax might be a £1 million cap on the pensions lifetime allowance. Currently, people can save the maximum amount as they need in their pension but a cap would mean they might got to pay tax if it’s exceeded, potentially encouraging people to spend more and save less.

UK unemployment rate: How will the govt help the jobless?
Sunak said over the weekend that around 750,000 people have lost their job during the pandemic which he wants to ‘make sure we offer those people with hope and opportunity’.

Unemployment sits at its highest level in five years at 5.1%, but this is often still relatively low compared to the likes of the financial crisis because the government’s furlough scheme has encouraged companies to stay employees on the books albeit they can’t work immediately due to lockdown. Currently, the furlough scheme is thanks to expire at the top of March.

Will furlough be extended?
Ending furlough now would undoubtedly cause a pointy rise in unemployment, especially as financially-broken businesses nervously await to seek out out once they can reopen. it’s therefore highly likely that furlough are going to be extended, but the question is for a way long. it’s likely to be a brief extension, possibly until the top of June when the govt hopes all restrictions will are lifted, then reviewing things again.