3 FTSE Shares for the Week Ahead


LONDON -- We took a look yesterday at three FTSE 100 companies releasing full-year results next week. There are plenty more, as we are firmly into reporting season for firms with years ending December 2012, so here are three more due to bring us final figures.

British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco will release results on Thursday, and judging by this week's share price rise, investors are expecting something good. Current expectations suggest a 6% rise in earnings per share, putting the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 17. That might sound a little high, but there's a likely dividend yield of 4% on offer.

At the time of the firm's third-quarter interim update, we were told of a 4% growth in revenue at constant exchange rates for the nine months to September, though global volumes were down after a low third quarter.

Reed Elsevier
The same day will bring us full-year figures from Reed Elsevier. The shares have gained almost 30% over the past 12 months to 700 pence after halftime results in June 2012 showed a 7% rise in operating profit, with adjusted EPS up 11%. The interim dividend was lifted by 6%.

Analysts are expecting the full year to bring in a 7% rise in EPS and a dividend yield of 3.3%, putting the shares on an FTSE-average P/E of 14, and forecasts for the next two years suggest modestly rising earnings and dividends. Unless anything has changed since the company's third-quarter update in November, which told us that the nine months were in line with expectations and that the full-year outlook was reaffirmed, we can probably be confident in those 2012 predictions.

Royal Bank of Scotland
Our last of the three for today is Royal Bank of Scotland, also delivering results on the same busy Thursday. Bank share prices have been storming back, with RBS now up 75% since its 52-week low to 345 pence. After years of credit crunch losses, RBS should be turning in a profit of about 1 billion pounds for 2012, and that's set to recover further over the next two years.

And at the interim stage, the bank reported net assets per share of 476 pence, which is quite a bit higher than the current share price, so there may still be more to come for shareholders.

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