5 Opportunities for the Week Ahead


We're heading firmly into interim reporting season next week, with a number of FTSE 100 (UKX) companies, among others, providing us with figures. And there will be a small number of full-year results, too.

Today, we're going to take a look at five companies reporting next week that look like they could be nice bargains -- you might want to do some of your own research over the weekend to get yourself ready.

FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (NYS: GSK) will report its interim figures on Wednesday, and it's a giant that I've long considered to be a great investment.

It's one of Neil Woodford's largest holdings, and he's soundly beaten the FTSE over the past five, 10 and 15 years, so I was in good company when I chose Glaxo for the Motley Fool's educational Beginners' Portfolio in June.

Forecasts are good, with a dividend yield of around 5% on the 1,486 pence shares expected, with a prospective price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of under 12. On Wednesday, we should be looking for interim dividend news and checking the strength of underlying cash flow.

Another of Woodford's holdings, AstraZeneca, will give us its interim figures the following day, and it will be good to compare the two.

For a closer examination of these and more of Neil Woodford's investments, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held by Britain's Super Investor" is the place to look. Click here to get your personal copy while it's still available.

Interim figures from ARM Holdings (NAS: ARM) on Wednesday should be worth a look. The shares piled up from a 2009 low of 81 pence to reach 650 pence last year, as chips from the Cambridge-based designer found their way into Apple iPhones and all manner of other portable devices.

They've floundered a little since then, falling back to 497 pence today. But there are hints that the company's intellectual property should set it up for a fresh growth phase, as the boom in mobile computing is really still only in its infancy. OK, the shares are on a prospective P/E of 36 for the year to December, but they've been much more highly rated in the past and have still gone on to greater things.

British American Tobacco
Wednesday is going to be a busy day, with half-time figures from British American Tobacco (ISE: BATS.L) due, too. I had a look at the company's recent record earlier this week -- it's another of Neil Woodford's holdings -- and noted its great dividend record and share price growth.

But what of the future? As wealth improves in the developing world, demand for increasingly affordable tobacco is growing strongly. And while that might be bad news for the world's health (and you might have ethical objections to profiting from it), it's good news for shareholders. Forecasts remain strong, and with the price standing at 3,393 pence, there's a prospective dividend yield of 4% pencilled in for this year and 4.4% next.

Anglo American
One investing strategy that I'm a pretty keen follower of is looking for sectors when they're unfairly marked down -- over the long term, there's no need for Foolish investors to pay any attention to short-term cycles other than to buy at bargain prices.

With that in mind, I'm keenly awaiting interim figures from Anglo American (ISE: AAL.L) on Friday. I took a look at the big miners and their bargain ratings earlier this month, and Anglo American -- producing iron, manganese, platinum, copper, and other industrial minerals -- looks as good a bargain to me as any.

If a sector-led approach to investment suits you, I'd recommend the Motley Fool report "Top Sectors of 2012," which examines mining and two further sectors that look cheap now. You can get your copy by clicking here.

Man Group
Tuesday will bring us interim figures from hedge fund manager Man Group (ISE: EMG.L) , which has seen its shares severely punished over the past couple of years -- they're down 78% to today's 68.7 pence -- since its flagship AHL fund has failed to deliver.

Wait, am I really flagging this one up as an investment opportunity? Well, it's a big risk, but it surely will bottom out and head upwards again at some time -- with a market cap of 1.3 billion pounds, and with 38 billion pounds under management, it's not going to just disappear. And forecasts for 2013 are actually positive -- even if the currently mooted 20% dividend is perhaps not sustainable.

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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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