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BP plc (BP), Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (IMT) & Three FTSE 100 Shares for the Week Ahead

LONDON: We have a number of interim updates of various kinds coming from FTSE 100 companies next week, with quite a few of them having their first quarters ending in March. And, after a good finish for many of them for 2012, investors will be keenly waiting to see how 2013 is shaping up.

Here are three companies from the U.K.’s top index that will be bringing us news next week:

BP plcBP plc (LON:BP)
It’s time for a first-quarter update from BP plc (LON:BP) next Tuesday and, after the firm’s travails since the Gulf of Mexico disaster, many will be looking for signs that it’s time to invest in the oil and gas giant’s shares. I think the shares are cheap, and have had them in the Fool’s Beginners’ Portfolio since last August; but what do City analysts think?

There’s a fairly strong consensus of a rise in earnings per share, (EPS) of about 40% for the year to December, which would put the shares, currently priced at 450p, on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of only around eight — and there’s a dividend yield of 5.3% forecast.

Fears of unknowns regarding the oil spill are still weighing on people’s minds, but we’ll at least know more about progress in fundamental performance next week.

Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (LON:IMT)
After we had upbeat first-quarter news from British American Tobacco plc (LON:BATS) this week, next Tuesday will bring us first-half figures from Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (LON:IMT). And the two companies’ recent share price histories could hardly be more different — while British American Tobacco plc (LON:BATS) shareholders have enjoyed a strong rise since the start of the year, the Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (LON:IMT) share price has fallen 7.5% since a January high of 2,488p, to today’s 2,297p.

Forecasts for the year to September 2013 put the shares on a relatively lowly P/E of 11, and suggest a dividend yield of 5.1% — and that yield should be nearly twice-covered by earnings. That’s a lower P/E and a higher dividend yield than British American Tobacco’s.

Earnings growth forecasts for this year are a bit lower at Imperial, but the shares could be the better value of the two right now.

Rolls-Royce Holding PLC (LON:RR)
Shareholders of Rolls-Royce Holding PLC (LON:RR) have had a good year, with a smooth share price rise of around 38% over the past 12 months to today’s 1,136p. And there was a dividend of 19.5p per share paid for 2012, giving a modest 2.2% yield on the end-of-year share price.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the shares are on a relatively strong prospective P/E of 17 based on December 2013 forecasts, so there’s a fair bit of growth built into the price — we have estimates of EPS rises of between 8% and 10% for the next two years.

So what’s happening next week? Well, the aerospace engine maker is due to release an interim statement on Thursday, on the day of its AGM.

Finally, dividends can add nicely to your investment returns — they can be spent or reinvested according to your needs. Whether investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome.

The article 3 FTSE 100 Shares for the Week Ahead: BP, Imperial Tobacco Group, and Rolls-Royce Holdings originally appeared on

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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