Barclays and Hays results in focus for Thursday

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Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) will be the first of the FTSE 100 banks to report its full-year earnings numbers, with NatWest Group PLC (LON:NWG) on Friday being the second.

For Barclays, City analysts expect the blue-eagle bank to declare a dividend of 3.5p a share for 2020, costing it around GBP600mln, with headline pre-tax profit expected to slump to GBP285mln in the fourth quarter from GBP1.1bn a year earlier, meaning full-year PTP for 2020 is seen coming in around GBP2.8bn versus GBP4.4bn in 2019.

Looking forward to 2021, UBS analysts said they expect continued pressure on net interest income from low interest rates and a mix shift towards mortgages and government guaranteed SME lending and away from credit cards, and normalisation of investment bank revenues, means they forecast a 5% fall in income lower in 2021.

Is Hays returning to work?

Hays PLC (LON:HAS) is releasing its interim results on Thursday after already publishing second quarter net fee trends, with like-for-like dropping 19% though it’s an improvement from the 29% tumble in the previous three months. Analysts at UBS still see scope for a positive surprise in the return to work rates and profit outlook, and forecast like-for-like to be down 13% in the third quarter.

After guiding for GBP25mln underlying earnings (EBIT) in the first half, the investment bank expects it to rise to GBP30mln in the second half, even despite a GBP10mln headwind from working days, an additional GBP7mln of strategic investment and the lack of GBP5mln government support scheme use.

This suggests an underlying drop-through on net fee recovery of over 70%, which bodes well for 2022 and beyond, analysts commented.

Thursday February 18

Finals: Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), Indivior PLC (LON:INDV), Primary Health Properties PLC (LON:PHP), Smith & Nephew PLC (LON:SN.), Group PLC (LON:MONY). Hochschild Mining PLC (LON:HOC)

Interims: Hays PLC (LON:HAS), Wilmington PLC (LON:WIL)

FTSE 100 ex-dividends to knock 12.31 points off the index: Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB), BP PLC (LON:BP.), Pershing Square Holdings Ltd (LON:PSH), GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON:RDSB)

Economic data: US jobless claims

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