LONDON (ShareCast) - Serco is expected to deliver a "cautious" pre-close trading statement on Thursday following a lack of new contract wins in the second half due to tight government spending, according to Numis.
The broker slapped a 'hold' rating on the outsourcing group on Wednesday, saying the British government services company has been hurt by issues with the UK's Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and criminal investigations into overcharging electronic prisoner tagging contracts.
While Numis believes the group will be close to consensus forecasts for 2013, the outlook for 2014 remains "very uncertain".
"We are awaiting a government review on the MOJ contract issues and DIAC volumes are set to fall much further," Numis added.
"The rating of circa 11 times 2013 earnings does not look expensive but with further risk to growth and with further pressure on margins we continue to see weakness in the short term."
Cruise operator Carnival (LSE: CCL.L - news) will deliver its final results and is forecast to report a 3% fall in net revenues, following a weak fourth quarter. Numis predicts earnings per share of $1.55, down from $1.67 previously.
In May the company issued a profit warning, primarily as a result of lower net revenue yield expectations due to its current cruise ticket pricing. Greater-than-expected voyage cancellations and selling and administrative costs also hurt profits.
Keller Group (LSE: KLR.L - news) and Goodwin (LSE: GDWN.L - news) will also release their latest interims tomorrow.
Thursday December 19th
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
PayPoint (LSE: PAY.L - news) , Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED.L - news)
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Total SA (Paris: FR0000120271 - news)
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Balance of Payments (EU) (09:00)
Bloomberg Consumer Confidence (US) (14:45)
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Current Account (EU) (09:00)
Existing Home Sales (US) (15:00)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (15:00)
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust, JPMorgan Asian Inv Trust
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Canadian General Investments Ltd.
Hayward Tyler Group, Plaza Centers NV (LSE: PLAZ.L - news)
British Empire Securities & General Trust, Chelverton Growth Trust, JPMorgan Elect Managed Cash Shares, JPMorgan Elect Managed Growth Shares, JPMorgan Elect Managed Income Shares, Power Capital Global Ltd., Rangers International Football Club (Other OTC: RNGFF - news) , Schroder Income Growth Fund, Sylvania Platinum Ltd (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) ), Westmount Energy Ltd.
Keller Group, Serco Group (Other OTC: SECCF - news)
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Internet Retail Sales (09:30)
Retail Sales (09:30)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
GETECH Group (LSE: GTC.L - news) , Goldplat (LSE: GDP.L - news)