Europe follows Asia lower after poor numbers from Heineken and ST Micro.
Europe sits in the red this morning following some poor results from corporate big hitters, as investors acclimatise to life after the debt crisis. With the all engulfing charade in the rear view mirror for now, a poor Asian session fuelled by Chinese debt fears and weak numbers from Heineken and ST micro was enough to keep markets in risk off mode this morning.
Investors will also have one eye on today’s Euro Banking stress test details, which are due for release throughout the day. This will be the first insight into what lies ahead in the attempt to supervise the top 130 institutions, a job that no one would want but everyone will scrutinise.
Poor sales from Eastern Europe has forced Heineken to reduce full year profit guidance this morning. The statement has been met with a resounding thumbs down from investors, having already cut forecasts for sales growth back in April. Lower sales from Eastern Europe has become the trend in the brewing world of late, with SAB Miller reporting similar weakness earlier this month, but in their case countered by other growth markets.
ST Microelectronics announced quarterly net losses after flagging demand from Asian smartphone companies using the technology. The firm seems to be firmly the wrong side of the market on current form, losing a marquee contract to Bosche for the IPhone 5S chips and feeling the knock on effect from the struggles of Blackberry, for which it produces camera module chips.
In the UK, Home retail group is firmly in the green this morning after reporting total sales rising 3% for the 6 months to £2.59bln, with underlying profits after one off sales up 53%. The owner of Argos and Homebase has focused on increased online presence which now accounts for 43% of Argos sales.British American Tobacco remains “on track for a year of solid earnings growth” according to CEO Nicandro Durante. Sales of Vype, its new electronic cigarette have been encouraging, as they join the list of tobacco firms catering for those who are trying to give up.
Another stock to look out for today is GlaxosmithKline PLC, who are set to release Q3 numbers at 12:00pm in the wake of continued issues in China. The recent bribery scandal centers round a reported £300m in payouts to Doctors to push the use of GSK drugs. Mike Reilly, the former chief of the company’s operation in China has gone back to co-operate with authorities and is reportedly barred from leaving while he aids investigations. With all that said, Glaxo are expected to post higher YoY Q3 earnings after increased sales of swine flu vaccine Pandermix. Net profit forecasts are around £1.4B.
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