Equity Briefing: Dixons Carphone, Stagecoach and Bed Bath & Beyond

Dixons Carphone and Stagecoach headline the UK corporate calendar today as they both release full-year results this morning, while Bed Bath & Beyond will report first-quarter results before US markets open later.

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Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone will release full-year results covering the 12 months to the end of April this morning.

Dixons Carphone has already revealed that like-for-like sales of electricals jumped 14% in the 51 weeks to April 24. The company has been able to capitalise on the increased demand for tech at home during the pandemic thanks to its strong online offering, with digital sales having grown by triple-digit figures. That helped cushion the sales lost from its stores having to be closed during lockdown and a severe drop in revenue and earnings from its mobile division.

The company said adjusted pretax profit should come in around £151.0 million, down from £166.0 million the year before. Importantly, that is after the £73.0 million of furlough money received from the UK government is repaid. Analysts are expecting adjusted pretax profit to fall to £145.6 million. However, they are also expecting the company to turn to a reported pretax profit of around £109.1 million compared to the £140.0 million loss booked the year before.

Investors will also be closely watching for news on the dividend after payouts were suspended to preserve cash when the pandemic erupted, although it is unclear whether they will return whilst it is restructuring its business considering it plans to book around £130 million in exceptional costs over the year to account for closing down stores.

Stagecoach

Stagecoach, the largest bus operator in Britain, will release full-year results this morning, covering the year to the start of May 2021.

Travel was limited during the year as people stayed at home during lockdowns, although Stagecoach services continued to operate to ensure people could make essential trips. Stagecoach has said it expects to report positive Ebitda for the full-year and will avoid ‘significant operating losses’.

Still, analysts are expecting annual revenue to fall to £912.3 million from £1.41 billion the year before, with its performance largely held up by London where demand for buses has held up better, and for Stagecoach to turn to an adjusted pretax loss of £1.3 million from a £90.9 million profit. On a reported basis, pretax profit is expected to drop to just £6 million from £40.6 million.

Stagecoach has said it will take ‘some time’ for demand for its regional bus services to recover to pre-pandemic levels, noting that people are preferring to use cars to avoid other people with traffic.

But it thinks demand for public transport will eventually rebound and that there is a positive long-term outlook for buses in the UK. This will also ultimately mean that it will take a while for profitability to improve.  Sales for regional buses was running at around 46% of pre-pandemic levels in March but Stagecoach believes that can rise to 60% based on how ticket sales rebounded when lockdown was eased last year, so watch this number closely this morning.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) will release first-quarter results before US markets open later today.

BBBY has just completed the first phase of a three-year transformation plan and said it was looking to ‘start fresh’ in the new financial year after sharpening its size and scale, refining its portfolio of products, and strengthening its financial position. Last year, over 140 stores closed, it divested several non-core brands and it slashed over $1 billion off its debt pile.

Its quarterly results will be flattered by the weak comparatives from the year before when the pandemic erupted. It has already said that net sales should be around 40% higher year-on-year, suggesting a figure of around $1.83 billion compared to $1.30 billion the year before.

BBBY has said its margin should steadily improve this year and come in around 34% in the first quarter, delivering Ebitda of between $80 million to $90 million. Analysts expect BBBY will turn to adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.08 from a $1.96 loss the year before, while reported EPS of $0.05 would compare to an $2.44 loss.

Investors will also want to see BBBY at least reaffirm its guidance for the full-year. The company is currently aiming to deliver $8.0 billion to $8.2 billion in sales and adjusted Ebitda of $500 million to $525 million.

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