The week ahead: Vodafone, Centrica, Royal Mail

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The week ahead:  Vodafone, Centrica, Royal Mail

There are some big hitters announcing results and trading updates over the next week, among them three of the most generous dividend payers around.

Monday 14 May

A grim profits warning late last year raised fears about the safety of Centrica (CNA)'s knockout dividend. But we've been told by management not to worry, and that the current level of dividend will be maintained if it hits certain targets.

Achieve adjusted operating cash flow within the targeted range and net debt remaining within a £2.25-£3.25 billion range, and the dividend will remain untouched.

It's that dividend which has attracted investors and driven a 25% rally since the February low at 123p. British Gas customer numbers will no doubt grab headlines.

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Source: interactive investor      Past performance is not a guide to future performance

Trading Statements

Centrica, Dignity, Victrex, Diploma

AGM/EGM

SafeCharge International, City Pub Group

Tuesday 15 May

Vodafone's (VOD) fourth-quarter results have been rather overshadowed by its €18.4 billion (£16.2 billion) purchase of Liberty Global's operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

The price is much less than the €23 billion estimated in some circles, although cost synergies of €6 billion a year is about half the figures expected by analysts at Barclays.

However, the broker thinks Voda can generate €7.5 billion of free cash flow over the next five years and keep growing the dividend. Yielding well over 6% currently, Barclays rates the shares 'overweight' with 265p price target.

In the fourth-quarter numbers, look for 1.1% organic service revenue growth, same as Q3.

"Despite pockets of softness, the bulk of the group is performing well and cost savings/one-off benefits should lead to Vodafone delivering +10.9% organic EBITDA growth to £14.68 billion for FY-18 (guidance "around 10%")," writes UBS.

Trading Statements

Romgaz, EI Group, Jackpotjoy, easyJet, Patisserie Holdings, CYBG, Elegant Hotels, Premier Foods, Vodafone, BTG, Land Securities, Braemar Shipping, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Hargreaves Lansdown

AGM/EGM

Anglo Pacific Group, Eland Oil & Gas, Macfarlane, Cairn Energy, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Starwood European Real Est Fin, UBM

Wednesday 16 May

Trading Statements

Burberry, Marston's, SSP Group, Brewin Dolphin, Mitchells & Butlers, Societatea Energetica Electrica, Premier Oil, Galliford Try, National Express, Mondi

AGM/EGM

Mondi, Mortgage Advice Bureau Holdings, Aberdeen Asian Income Fund, National Express, Princess Private Equity Holding, Permanent TSB Group Holdings, Worldpay, Property Franchise Group, Secure Trust Bank, Jupiter Fund Management, Coats, Charter Court Financial Services, Chesnara, Tritax Big Box Reit

Thursday 17 May

Royal Mail (RMG) shares had been upended by fears around industrial action, falling popularity of letter writing, and a competitive parcel delivery market.

However, with a labour deal agreed, confidence has blossomed since November, and the share price is up by around two-thirds to a record high. They still yield around 4%, although some fund managers are starting to believe much of the optimism is already in the price.

Tesco (TSCO) goes ex-dividend for the final dividend of 2p per ordinary share.

Trading statements

Thomas Cook, TBC Bank Group, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Grainger, Future, Venn Life Sciences Holdings, Investec, Royal Mail (RMG), RedT Energy, National Grid, 3i Group, British Land, Just Group

AGM/EGM

Next, Portmeirion, Quarto Group, Erris Resources, Prudential, Elecosoft, John Laing Infrastructure Fund, eServGlobal, Kape Technologies, Just Group, Great Western Mining, Legal & General, Genel Energy, esure, Medaphor

Friday 18 May

Trading statements

AstraZeneca, Hikma Pharmaceuticals

AGM/EGM

Computacenter,AstraZeneca, Real Estate Investors, Hunters Property, Rockhopper Exploration, Eurocell

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation, and is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.