Shell’s final results on Thursday offered the first insight into what the season is going to be like for oil firms, and maybe, more importantly, how the companies are going to approach the new world of lower crude prices.
BP will announce full-year figures on Tuesday. Like its rivals, the oil giant is taking steps to address the low oil price environment by freezing salary rises and cutting back on exploration expenditure.
“Broadly speaking the fundamentals of BP’s business are still in good shape,” said David Madden of spread betting firm IG Group. “The company’s refinery business is picking up the slack from the exploration division.”
Still, the company’s Russian unit is holding the group back. Western-imposed sanctions on Russia have pushed the economy into recession and crippled the rouble.
Meanwhile the final verdict over the Gulf of Mexico disaster still hangs over the company.
Shares in BP have been plagued by the Gulf of Mexico incident since 2010, but a recent court ruling indicated that the related fine will be smaller than initially thought.
According to estimates seen by IG Group (LON:IGG), the consensus is for revenue of US$348bln and adjusted net profit of US$12.2bln. These estimations equate to an 8% decline in revenue and a 9.7% drop in adjusted net profit.
The company will also reveal its fourth-quarter figures on the same date, where traders are anticipating revenue of US$80.7bln and adjusted net profit of US$1.91bln.
The January stats will be overshadowed by any news on the proposed takeover of Irish airline Aer Lingus.
Having finally secured the recommendation of Aer Lingus’ board, IAG is now doing due diligence and is in discussions with the Irish Government, which holds a 25% stake, and Ryanair, which holds a 29.8% stake.
The shares have soared in recent weeks but the deal is far from certain and further concessions from IAG may be needed.
Investors will also be keen to hear any news about the impact of the falling oil price on the company’s fuel costs.
Also on Wednesday, Sky sends out an interim management statement.
The firm is fighting a fierce battle with rivals BT Group and TalkTalk to offer customers all of the main media services - home phone, mobile, broadband and cable - bundled together.
Investors will be looking for customer numbers and more importantly the amount upgrading to a single package.
BT’s figures on Friday showed the firm added 119,000 new broadband customers over the period, a level that Sky is unlikely to overtake, according to analysts at Jefferies.
Comments on new initiatives and its expansion into Europe are other areas of interest when it comes to Sky.
The share price has risen recently helped by hopes that it will not overpay for the Premier League rights.
Economic announcements: Purchasing Managers’ Indices for manufacturing covering China (Markit and official), Eurozone (Markit), US (Markit and ISM) and various worldwide.
Trading statement: IAG (LON:IAG)
Economic announcements expected: Economic review by ONS , Purchasing Managers’ Indices for services covering China (Markit and official), Eurozone (Markit), US (Markit and ISM) and various worldwide.
Economic announcements expected: Monetary Policy Committee meeting and announcement – Bank of England
Economic announcements expected: UK trade, December 2014 – ONS