Research, Charts & Company Announcements
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on WPP PLC. We currently have 12 research reports from 4 professional analysts.
|04Apr17 16:50||RNS||Notification of First Quarter Trading Statement|
|03Apr17 14:30||RNS||Voting rights and Capital 31 March 2017|
|29Mar17 10:25||RNS||BOARD RETIREMENT|
|27Mar17 17:50||RNS||Director's Interest|
|24Mar17 17:20||RNS||Transaction in Own Shares|
|23Mar17 17:34||RNS||Transaction in Own Shares|
|22Mar17 17:21||RNS||Transaction in Own Shares|
Frequency of research reports
Research reports on
06 Mar 17
Risk? What risk? Gold, the ultimate hedge against global uncertainty and rising inflation, on Friday fell to its lowest level since mid-February as a previously resilient market buckled under the rising expectation of an imminent hike in US interest rates. Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, added to such expectations on Friday predicting the pace of tightening was likely to accelerate in 2017. So what should we be worried about? Most certainly, inflation is back all around the globe, even in Japan, the most obvious economy beset with a long-term declining trend. The big question now is whether it will stick around and what damage could it do? It marks a turnaround from a year ago, when the word 'deflation' was closer to economists' lips. And historically, it has taken nine months for currency weakness to show up in inflation readings, which is the concern that possibly forms a recurring nightmare for Governor Carney and the reason why the markets a likely to be surprised with his aggression when he finally attacks the problem, even if he is brave enough to defer his first move into 2018. Asia probably is less concerned, given that pressures will moderate this year as the effects of government stimulus fades and Beijing turns its attention to damping-down asset bubbles. What about politics? Europe is, of course, the loose cannon here. Beaufort's formal opinion is that while the Eurozone is living on borrowed time, its calamity is more likely be the major talking point of 2018, rather than this year. Significantly, a poll released on Friday ahead of France's first round of its Presidential election on 23rd April, suggests Mr. Juppe could win the first round with 26.5%, ahead of Emmanuel Macron on 25% and Ms. Le Pen on 24%, although market researcher Odoxa notes that all three candidates are within a three-point margin of error. Should it be wrong, of course, a win for the National Front would likely accelerate the Eurozone's anticipated implosion, with the 27 counties then possibly separating into two separate lists of members; one being a 'Greater Germany' which would sustain some form of the Euro, the other being 'Club Med', whose members instead are forced to revert to their legacy currencies, suffering effective 20% plus devaluations in the process. Sitting aloof from all this right now is Chancellor Hammond who, basking in the glow of Sterling's Brexit-enforced devaluation, is preparing to reveal a sharp rise in this year's economic forecasts at Wednesday's Budget. He is expected to say that growth is set to rise above 2% in 2017. Although clearly not preparing for any significant give-away at this time, a near £12bn improvement in public borrowing compared with his Autumn Statement reflects surprising momentum over the past six months, even if February's weak service sector data released last week did look ominous. This morning, London is seen edging slightly lower, with the FTSE-100 expected down 5 to 10 points in opening trade, following just fractional gains amongst the US's three principal indices on Friday. A lacklustre Asia mostly put in modest gains, despite the Chinese government cutting its growth target to its lowest level in over two decades, although the Nikkei did fall into sharply the red after missiles being tested by fractious neighbour, North Korea, fell into its territorial waters. The only important macro data due to release today comes from the EU, which will publish its Sentix Investor Confidence survey for March and the US which provides Factory Orders for January. The UK is due to release earnings or trading updates this morning from second-liners including Devro (DVO.L), Harworth Group (HWG.L) and Plant Impact (PIM.L), although the traders will be more urgently seeking confirmation regarding weekend leaks that Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN.L) and Standard Life (SL..L) have agreed terms for a merger.
A more cautious picture going forward...
03 Mar 17
WPP reported solid FY16 results, in line with our expectations, with reported revenues (including the full impact of digital billings, i.e. linked to acquiring digital media space on its own account) up 17.6% to £14,389m (AV was £41,441m). This was after +4.2% from acquisitions, +10.8% from forex (sterling weakness; only c.15% of revenues in the UK) and +3% organic growth. Net sales (after direct costs, i.e. a better indicator for underlying performance, although not used by competitors…) rose by 17.4% to £12,398m (+3.1% organic). The headline OP amounted to £2,160m (+21.8%; +8.5% at CER), reflecting an operating margin of 17.4% of net sales (AV was 17.3%), up 50bp from FY15 but 20bp at CER, i.e. under last October’s target of +30bp at CER. The headline diluted EPS rose by 20.9% (+7.7% at CER) to 113.2p, 2% above our 111p forecast, while the proposed final dividend is raised 28.7% to 37.05p (implying a total dividend of 56.6p versus our 53.2p expectations, up 26.7% with a payout ratio raised from 47.7% in FY15 to 50%). Management highlighted an “above budget start” to the year with organic revenue up 1.5% in January (against a strong comparison basis: +4.2% in January 2015) but the cautious top-line organic guidance appears disappointing at only “around +2%”. Positively, the headline operating margin on net sales target is, as usual, for an 30bp improvement at CER.
01 Nov 16
"A flat to marginally positive market is seen for London this morning, with the blue-chip FTSE-100 expected to open up in excess of 15 points. With just a week before election day, politics remained the dominating talking point, with experts declaring that incriminating emails cited by the FBI in their probe into Hillary Clinton's exchanges could be uncovered in the next few days, while she continues to insist there is no case to answer. This kept the markets in a generally nervous mood, with all principal US indices closing fractionally down to cap a disappointing month during which the S&P-500 fell by 1.9% while the NASDAQ lost 2.3%. Asia was in a slightly better mood, with both the Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite receiving a lift from better than expected official manufacturing PMI data from China, with the index rising to 51.2 for October, up from 50.4 in September, thereby beating expectations for the third straight month. By contrast Japan was in a more sombre mood, having shifted back its target date for achieving a level of 2% inflation from 2017 to 2018 following recent data, although the central bank still left its short-term interest rate target for commercial bank deposits at 0.1%. This left Japan with a fractional loss for the day, while the ASX gave back most of yesterday's gains through weaker commodity plays and financials as the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged at 1.5%. Today both the UK and the US are due to due to release manufacturing PMI figures, while the results season in full swing with a large number of corporates being scheduled to release earning or trading updates this morning, including BP (BP..L), Hastings Group (HSTG.L), MoneySupermarket (MONY.L), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA.L), Shire (SHP.L), Standard Chartered (STAN.L), Virgin Money (VM..L) and Weir (WEIR.L)." - Barry Gibb, Research Analyst
Continuing to deliver satisfactorily
31 Oct 16
WPP reported Q3 revenue (including the full impact of digital billings, i.e. linked to acquiring digital media space on its own account) up 23.4% to £3,611m, a 3.2% organic improvement (after +4.3% in H1 16 but on a stronger basis of comparison) and after +4.4% from acquisitions and +15.8% from forex (sterling weakness; only c.14% of revenues in the UK). Net sales were up by 2.8% organically to £3,114m (H1 16: +3.8%). For the 9 month period, consolidated revenues rose by 3.9% organically and net sales by 3.4%. Not reporting its full results at this stage, WPP nonetheless specified that the 9 months operating margin was up by 40bp on a reported basis (+30bp at CER) with staff costs being well under control. The target for +30bp at CER for the full-year was reiterated (with an additional 10bp boost likely from forex), despite the traditional caution on Q4. The group still expects like-for-like revenue and net sales growth up by over 3%.
25 Aug 16
"Traders are now unlikely to take any large market bets until the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's two-day Monetary Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming has concluded. Top of the bill of course is Chair, Janet Yellen, who is formally scheduled to speak at 09:00hrs local time on Friday, but given the hype that has surrounded this event anything she finally divulges is likely to be considered something of an anti-climax as far as investors are concerned. Indeed, most probably she will continue to walk a fine line, offering positive but uncommitted descriptions of the current state of the US economy while keeping options open regarding a rate hike at the central bank's September meeting. That would leave the markets to tread water for a little longer yet. Overnight the US markets closed modestly weaker across all principal indices, giving back more than the previous day's gains, as concerns circulated in the media about possible political actions to tame escalating drug prices following the sharp increase imposed by Mylan Inc. on Epistem, its sever allergies treatment; crude oil also weakened again on further reflection of yesterday's surprisingly big build-up of US stockpiles, which was also seen to pressurise other recently well supported commodity prices. A lack of new stories in Asia left the regions equity markets to simply track the US, with the Shanghai Composite ending the session's the main casualty as the PBOC was seen injecting additional funds to stimulate otherwise lacklustre investor enthusiasm. Other than today's start of the Jackson Hole Symposium, macro releases due includes the CBI Distributive Trades Survey and the CML mortgage lending figures, while UK corporates due to publish earning numbers are Anglo Pacific Group (APF.L), CRH (CRH.L), Henry Boot (BHY.L), Jimmy Choo (CHOO.L), John Laing (JLG.L) and Spire Healthcare (SPI.L). The FTSE-100 is seen opening around 12 points lower in early, relatively low volume, trade." - Barry Gibb, Research Analyst
N+1 Singer - Uncovered Gems - Speed Dating Lunch - A Famous Five for the future?
12 Apr 17
On Friday we hosted our third “speed dating” lunch with the management of five very interesting and contrasting companies not under our formal coverage: Be Heard, Byotrol, Gfinity, Oxehealth and Plant Impact. Each company gave a concise and punchy overview of its business and investment case to a group of fund managers, before rapid fire Q&A. Below we summarise our thoughts on each company with more details inside the note, plus some relevant slides. We believe that all five companies are well-managed and well worth a closer look - we intend to repeat this efficient and popular format for engaging with management teams.
Small Cap Breakfast
19 Apr 17
Global Ports Holding—Intention to float on Standard List. International cruise ports operator. Seeking $250m raise including $75m primary offer. Dorcaster—Schedule One Update. Admission now expected 3 May. RTO of Escape Hunt raising £14m at 135p Verditek— Intention to float on AIM. On Admission, the Company's subsidiaries will be involved in advanced solar photovoltaic, filtration and absorption technologies specialising in providing environmental services. Raising £3.5m. Admission in May. Eddie Stobart Logistics— Schedule 1. Admission expected 25 April but capital raising details TBC. ADES International Holding— Intends to join the Standard List in May raising up to $170m plus a vendor sale. Provider of offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling and production services in the Middle East and Africa. Admission expected in May. Tufton Oceanic Assets– Offer extended to 9 May to enable investors to complete further due diligence.
19 Apr 17
Lombard Risk Management* (LRM): Beats demanding growth and profit forecasts (CORP) | Frontier Developments* (FDEV): Steaming ahead (CORP) | Tax Systems* (TAX): Right place, right time (CORP) | Acal (ACL): Stronger H2 and brighter outlook (BUY) | Fenner (FENR): Interim results signal upgrades (BUY) | Minds + Machines* (MMX): US and Europe domain sales (CORP)
Northland Capital Morning Report
02 Dec 15
Divergence looks set to dominate the final month of 2015 and set the tone for 2016. The European Central Bank is widely expected to extend its QE economic stimulus programme and could reduce its overnight deposit rate further in an attempt to boost inflation, and more stimulus could come from Japan and China. Meanwhile the Federal Reserve is now expected to lift rates from historic lows. Higher US rates will impact not only the cost of capital in the US but also emerging markets where growth remains much weaker and leverage high. The move by the ECB is unlikely to have a major impact, however, as it is an extension rather than a new tool and the headlines continue to be dominated by politics rather than financial markets (Isis, the refugee/migrant crisis, tensions between Russia and Turkey etc). The respective moves are likely to further weaken the euro in 2016. The UK sits somewhere in the middle. November’s Autumn Statement saw the Chancellor drop his tax credit reduction plans and benefit from a surprise £27bn improvement in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s five year public finances forecast, based on higher tax revenue and lower debt interest. The general shift away from austerity, the protection of tax credits and increased minimum wage should ensure further economic growth.