Week ahead: BP, Stagecoach, Caretech

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Although December tends to be one of the best months of the year for stocks next week's calendar comes replete with potentially market moving events and at least one potential 'tipping point, ' which markets will need to be navigated.

George Osborne will present his Autumn Statement on December 5th, Wednesday. Will he be forced to announce new austerity measures in order to meet this fiscal year's government deficit targets? For now it seems not, but that is what is at stake. In any case, and after what one broker terms the "plundering" of the profits from the Bank's asset purchase programme should mean that Osborne -and the UK- have dodged that bullet for the moment.

In that same vein, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was expected to give the Chancellor a guarded "pass" verdict on the likelihood that it will still meet its medium-term targets. Nevertheless, it was thought that the OBR would lower its estimate for the UK economy's potential rate of growth until 2014, to between 1-1.5%, commented analysts at Charles Stanley.



The Bank of England was to meet on Thursday but no changes in policy were forecast. Much the same was said of the European Central Bank (ECB), which was to meet a bit later that same day. Even so, Barclays Research commented on Friday that, "we think the ECB will leave rates unchanged next Thursday," but added, "and take further action at the beginning of 2013." Meantime, and over at Credit Suisse (NYSEArca: CSMA - news) analysts were not excluding another long-term refinancing operation (LTRO).

As far as potential tipping points were concerned, early next week the Greek government was expected to present its debt buyback offer, as per the recent Eurogroup agreement. The process should be finalised before December 13th. If it were to fail then financial markets could be in for some volatility, some market commentary held.

Eurozone manufacturing sector survey data on Monday may have afforded markets a small reprieve from any selling pressure.

On Friday the US Department of Labour was slated to publish its usually all important monthly employment report.

In parallel, and on the corporate front, Monday December 3rd was expected to see British Petroleum (LSE: BP.L - news) (BP) hosting an upstream day. This is the opportunity for BP to present a long-term outlook for the first time since the Deepwater Horion disaster, Credit Suisse wrote. "The key for BP will be to convince investors on improving momentum after 3 years of under-earning in exploration and production (E&P), and on the quality of its project hopper they say, "the Swiss broker explained.

Later, on Wednesday, Stagecoach was scheduled to release its latest interim results. Charles Stanley analyst Tony Shepard believed that they were unlikely to brighten the outlook for the sector.

In fact, the fiasco over the West Coast rail re-franchising would come back into spotlight again, he thought. Stagecoach has exceptionally high profit margins of 18% in its UK Bus operations and there will be interest in how the company is offsetting cuts in UK public spending on public transport. Interestingly, "although Stagecoach has one of the best financial metrics in the sector, its results may flag forthcoming changes in the accounting rules on pensions (IAS 19) which will hit headline earnings in the next financial year, 2013/14," he said to clients.

Finally, and on Thursday, CareTech will report preliminary results for the year ending September 30th 2012. Following a detailed trading update and investor seminar on October 17th, Savvas Neophytou and Mike Allen at Panmure Gordon expected few surprises. They forecast revenues growing by 6.0% to £115.7m, group EBITDA of £24.9m, and adjusted earnings per share of 26.4p.

"In our view, CareTech should be a core holding for investors looking to introduce healthcare or attractive special situation stocks into their portfolio. It provides good growth and defensive characteristics," they added.

Monday December 03

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Andrews Sykes Group, Sony Corp.

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
JPMorgan Claverhouse Inv Trust

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Construction Spending (US) (15:00)
ISM Manufacturing (US) (15:00)
ISM Prices Paid (US) (15:00)
PMI Manufacturing (EU) (09:00)

GMS
Silvermere Energy

FINALS
Evocutis

ANNUAL REPORT
Diploma (LSE: DPLM.L - news)

IMSS
City of London Investment Group

EGMS
Alpha Bank GDR (Reg S) USD, Integra Group GDR (Reg S)

AGMS
Avation (LSE: AVAP.L - news) , Henderson Fledgling Trust , Skywest Airlines Ltd.

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
PMI Manufacturing  (09:30)

Tuesday December 04

INTERIMS
Anite (Berlin: A1SN.BE - news) , Greene King (Berlin: GNK.BE - news) , May Gurney Integrated Services, Northgate (Xetra: 10530134.DE - news)

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Auto Sales (US) (15:00)
Producer Price Index (EU) (10:00)

GMS
Cenkos Securities (Berlin: CCE.BE - news)

FINALS
Character Group, Datong (LSE: DTE.L - news) , ITE Group (LSE: ITE.L - news) , TUI Travel (Other OTC: TTVLF.PK - news)

AGMS
AI Claims Solutions (LSE: ACS.L - news) , Northamber (LSE: NAR.L - news)

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS
Dolphin Capital Investors Ltd

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BRC Sales Monitor (00:01)
PMI Construction (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Jupiter Primadona Growth Trust, NWF Group (LSE: NWF.L - news)

Wednesday December 05

INTERIMS
First Property Group, Stagecoach Group

INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Alliance Pharma (Other OTC: ALLP.PK - news) , Atkins (WS), Big Yellow Group (Berlin: B9Y.BE - news) , Brown (N.) Group, Cello Group (LSE: CLL.L - news) , Chamberlin (Berlin: CCV.BE - news) , City of London Group, Cranswick (LSE: CWK.L - news) , Creston (LSE: CRE.L - news) , De La Rue (Other OTC: DELRF.PK - news) , Dee Valley Group (LSE: DVW.L - news) , Dee Valley Group (Non-Voting), Edge Performance VCT 'C' Shares, Electrocomponents (LSE: ECM.L - news) , Energy Technique (Berlin: EGVA.BE - news) , Establishment Inv Trust, European Residual Income Investments Cell, Fuller Smith & Turner, Headlam Group (LSE: HEAD.L - news) , Hogg Robinson Group, Homeserve (LSE: HSV.L - news) , London Stock Exchange Group, Majestic Wine (LSE: MJW.L - news) , Management Consulting Group, MDM Engineering Group Ltd. (DI), Norcros (Berlin: 3N1.BE - news) , Northern 3 VCT (LSE: NTN.L - news) , PayPoint (Berlin: PAN.BE - news) , Phoenix IT Group (LSE: PNX.L - news) , Plastics Capital (Berlin: 4P5.BE - news) , Rensburg AIM VCT (LSE: RSB.L - news) , SABMiller (Dusseldorf: 981602.DU - news) , Severn Trent (LSE: SVT.L - news) , Shanks Group (Other OTC: SHMCF.PK - news) , Slingsby H.C, Tarsus Group (LSE: TRS.L - news) , TR Property Inv Trust, TR Property Inv Trust Sigma Shares, UK Mail Group (LSE: UKM.L - news) , Value and Income Trust, Victoria, VP

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Bank of America Corp (NYSE: IKJ - news) ., Land Securities Group, Real Estate Credit Investments PCC Ltd

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
ABC Consumer Confidence (US) (22:00)
Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)
Goods Orders (US) (15:00)
ISM Non-Manufacturing (US) (15:00)
ISM Services (US) (15:00)
MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)
PMI Composite (EU) (09:00)
PMI Composite (GER) (08:55)
PMI Services (EU) (09:00)
Retail Sales (EU) (10:00)

FINALS
Brewin Dolphin Holdings, Innovation Group (Munich: 939154 - news) , Jelf Group (LSE: JLF.L - news) , Sage Group (Other OTC: SGGEF.PK - news) , Silverdell (Berlin: B5Y.BE - news)

ANNUAL REPORT
Grainger (LSE: GRI.L - news)

SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
British Empire Securities & General Trust, Carnival (NYSE: CCL - news) , Renaissance Russia Infrastructure Equities Ltd, Rights & Issues Inv Trust Capital Shares, Wolseley (EUREX: WLYF.EX - news)

EGMS
Ablon Group Ltd., Middlefield Canadian Income PCC

AGMS
Asia Digital Holdings, International Biotech Trust, K3 Business Technology Group

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BoE Interest Rate Decision (12:00)
BRC Shop Price Index (00:01)
Official Reserves (09:30)
PMI Services (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Regenersis (Berlin: F2B.BE - news)

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Aberdeen Asset Management, Associated British Foods (Dusseldorf: 719064.DU - news) , British Empire Securities & General Trust, Conygar Investment Company, CVS Group (Berlin: 4C9.BE - news) , Debenhams (Berlin: D2T.BE - news) , Grainger, Greencore Group (Xetra: 881630 - news) , Local Shopping REIT, Northamber, Renewable Energy Generation Ltd., YouGov (LSE: YOU.L - news)

Thursday December 06

INTERIMS
Micro Focus International, Mulberry Group (LSE: MUL.L - news) , Smith (DS)

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
First Derivatives (LSE: FDP.L - news)

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
ECB Interest Rate (EU) (12:45)
GDP (1st release) (EU) (10:00)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)

Q3
Premier Farnell (Other OTC: PIFLF.PK - news)

FINALS
CareTech Holding, OMG (LSE: OMG.L - news) , Redhall Group

ANNUAL REPORT
Carr's Milling Industries

IMSS
Wolseley

EGMS
3Legs Resources (Euronext: ERS.NX - news) , JSC Halyk Bank GDR (Reg S)

AGMS
Altus Resource Capital Ltd., City Natural Resources High Yield Trust, Egdon Resources (Berlin: 4ED.BE - news) , Jellybook Ltd (DI), RSM Tenon Group (LSE: TNO.L - news) , Wessex Exploration

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS
PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC.L - news)

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Balance of Trade (09:30)
New Car Registrations (09:30)
UK Trade (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Fidelity Asian Values

Friday December 07

INTERIMS
Berkeley Group Holdings (The), Photo-Me International, Polar Capital Holdings

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Amati VCT (LSE: ATI.L - news) , Balfour Beatty (Other OTC: BAFBF.PK - news) , BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust, Elderstreet VCT (LSE: EDV.L - news) , London & Stamford Property , Marshalls (LSE: MSLH.L - news) , Maven Income & Growth VCT, Metric Property Investments , Pace (Berlin: PG7.BE - news) , Rotala (LSE: ROL.L - news) , SThree (Berlin: S8T.BE - news) , Stobart Group Ltd., Walker Crips Group (LSE: WCW.L - news) , William Hill (Other OTC: WIMHF.PK - news)

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news)

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Consumer Credit (US) (20:00)
Unemployment Rate (US) (13:30)

ANNUAL REPORT
MedicX Fund Ltd.

SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Narborough Plantations

AGMS
Air Partner (LSE: AIP.L - news) , Associated British Foods, Bezant Resources, Frontier Mining Ltd (DI), LP Hill (LSE: LPH.L - news) , Minco (LSE: MIO.L - news) , Renewable Energy Generation Ltd.

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Industrial Production (09:30)
Manufacturing Production (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Ashmore Group, BlackRock Greater Europe Inv Trust, Centaur Media (LSE: CAU.L - news) , Craneware (Berlin: 3X6.BE - news) , James Halstead (Berlin: HSJA.BE - news) , JPMorgan Smaller Companies Inv Trust, Matchtech Group (Berlin: MNZ.BE - news)