LONDON -- Moving into February, we're heading firmly into full-year results season for companies with years ending in December. Among them, we have a good number of FTSE 100 companies bringing us their figures during the month. Here are five key picks:
Tuesday, Feb. 5 -- ARM Holdings
Annual results from chip designer ARM Holdings are due on Feb. 5. The share price has had a cracking year, up around 45% over the past 12 months, although that did come after a pretty static 18 months to the middle of 2012.
Normalised third-quarter figures released in October showed a year-to-date 14% rise in revenues, a 22% rise in pre-tax profit, and a 21% rise in earnings per share. Current City expectations for the full year suggest a slightly smaller rise in earnings per share, of 16%, but forecasts for the following two years boost that to over 20% per year. Dividends are really just starting to emerge from ARM, and the yield is still likely to be less than 1% for the next couple of years.
Those expectations, coupled with the current price of 874 pence, put the shares on a price-to-earning ratio of 60, which will cause a few eyes to water. But what price growth? That's the hard question. Forecasts drop the P/E to 40 by 2014. Whether that's a bargain is for you to decide.
Tuesday, Feb. 5 -- BP
The same day brings us results from BP , coming just after the oil and gas giant concluded its legal dealings with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, with its already-agreed penalty of $4 billion.
Standing at 477 pence, BP shares have lagged the FTSE over the past 12 months, with current expectations putting them on a P/E of a pretty modest 8.5. That does include a 35% fall in expected earnings per share, but that should recover over the next two years. Current forecasts also indicate a well-covered dividend yield of 4.5%, which is expected to rise to 5% by 2014.
Does that sound like an oversold share to you? It does to me (but then I might be biased, as I have BP shares in the Fool's Beginners' Portfolio).
Wednesday, Feb. 6 -- GlaxoSmithKline
Another Beginners' Portfolio member, GlaxoSmithKline should deliver full-year results on Feb. 6. The shares have been through a bit of a down spell since last summer, but have been recovering quite nicely of late, standing at 1,443 pence at the time of writing.
But even after the recent mini-recovery, Glaxo shares have moved nowhere since 2006. But at the same time, profits and dividends have been rising, and expectations for the full year suggest a dividend yield of 5.2%. That should be well covered as well, and there's no reason not to expect it to carry on growing. With the shares currently on a P/E of 13, and paying a better-than-average dividend, they're cheaper than they've been for some time.
Tuesday, Feb. 12 -- Barclays
It's time for Barclays results on Feb. 12, and the bank really has staged a strong recovery this year. From a lowly 148 pence around the middle of last year, the price has doubled to 300 pence today. At the last interim stage, adjusted pre-tax profit for the nine months to Sept. 30 was up 18% to 5.95 billion pounds (although with one-offs all over the place, statutory profit was only 712 million pounds).
Current expectations put the shares on a P/E of under 9 with a 2.2% dividend yield forecast. That payout is nothing like pre-crash levels, but it should be very well covered by earnings, and it's slowly getting back up with modest dividend growth forecast for the next two years.
Thursday, Feb. 14 -- Rio Tinto
The global economic slowdown hurt the mining sector quite badly, with slowing demand pushing commodities prices downward. But since late last year, and with global sentiments becoming more cheery, we've been seeing a bit of a recovery. From a low last year of around 26.50 pounds, Rio Tinto shares are back up to 35.50 pounds today, for a gain of nearly 35%.
We'll have annual results from the 50 billion pound giant on Feb. 14, and we'll find out whether the current analysts' consensus is accurate. That consensus does suggest a fall in earnings per share of around 40%, but that's been long expected and still puts the shares on a P/E of only 11, with earnings rises forecast for this year and next.