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 £600mln, with headline pre-tax profit expected to slump to £285mln in the fourth quarter from £1.1bn a year earlier, meaning full-year PTP for 2020 is seen coming in around £2.8bn versus £4.4bn 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 £25mln underlying earnings (EBIT) in the first half, the investment bank expects it to rise to £30mln in the second half, even despite a £10mln headwind from working days, an additional £7mln of strategic investment and the lack of £5mln 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.), Moneysupermarket.com 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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