3 FTSE 100 Shares for the Week Ahead


LONDON -- We're firmly into full-year reporting season for companies whose years end in December, and that includes a number of our top FTSE 100 constituents. We don't want you to miss any, so today we're highlighting three coming our way next week so you can do your research ahead of the events -- and we'll bring you some more tomorrow:

We're expecting annual results from Barclays next Tuesday, and current expectations look good. For the year ending December, there's an analysts' consensus for a 40% rise in earnings per share (EPS), and on the current share price of 297 pence, that corresponds to a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 8.5, even though the price has just about doubled since last July's low point.

Forecasts for the next two years suggest further earnings growth, and though the actual figures are really just guesswork right now, with the financial sector generally recovering from its recent ills that does seem likely.

Those forecasts puts Barclays shares on a forward P/E for 2014 of just 7, which seems cheap to me. Dividends aren't great right now, mind, with a yield of just over 2% pencilled in. But that is very well covered by earnings, and we should expect to see payouts steadily recovering over the next few years.

Tullow Oil shares have not had the greatest of years, dropping by around 20% over the past 12 months, though the price has picked up a little this week to 1,207 pence in anticipation of full year results due next Wednesday.

The latest production update, released Jan. 11, confirmed revenue for the year of $2.35 billion, and told us that the company plans to drill 40 new wells in a search for a billion barrels of oil.

After the fall, is Tullow an oversold share? Forecasts put the P/E at over 20 for the next couple of years, which looks high on traditional standards -- the long-term FTSE average is around 14. But with a big exploration phase in the pipeline, that could turn out to be cheap.

We have results from the mining sector coming through next week too, with Rio Tinto reporting on Thursday. The whole sector has been through a slump after the Chinese economic slowdown affected commodities price.

But with the global economy starting to look brighter, Rio Tinto shares have regained around 50% since last summer's low price. And though analysts are expecting a 40% fall in earnings per share for 2012, forecasts for the next two years suggest double-digit growth.

Rio Tinto shares, which I added to the Fool's Beginners' Portfolio last August, are on a P/E of 12 based on 2012 expectations, falling to just 8.5 on forecasts for 2014. There's also a recovering dividend on the cards, expected to be around 2.7% this time.

Finally, coming out of a recession when depressed share prices are rising, the odds can be tipped in favor of growth investors -- and we've seen strong share prices rises for two of the three companies featured here today. But finding the best growth shares is not easy.

If you want some help with the task, I recommend you get yourself a copy of our latest BRAND-NEW report, "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Share For 2013," which is the result of a bit of serious brain-work by the Fool's top analysts.

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The article 3 FTSE 100 Shares for the Week Ahead originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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