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Micro Focus International plc (MCRO), Home Retail Group Plc (HOME): 5 FTSE Dates for Your June Diaries

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LONDON — After a busy month for company results in May, with many reporting for the year or quarter ending 31 March, things are going to be a bit quieter during June. But we’re still going to have some important dates for investors, and we’ll keep you updated as they come along.

We have already had a quick look at three pieces of news expected next week, so here’s a glance at some key dates for the rest of the coming month:

Wednesday June 12, Sainsbury
In May, J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) reported full-year results for the year to 16 March, and they looked good. Telling us of “significant market outperformance,” the supermarket chain reported a 6.2% rise in underlying pre-tax profit to 756 million pounds, after sales grew by 4.6%, to 25.6 billion pounds. With performance like this, it’s no wonder Sainsbury’s shares are up 30% over the past 12 months, to 377 pence.

The results extended a remarkable run to 33 straight quarters, in which J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY)’s has lifted its like-for-like sales — will that continue on to 34? We should know on 12 June, when we get a first-quarter trading update. Analysts are positive about the full year, forecasting a 6% rise in earnings per share.

Thursday June 13, Home Retail
Shares in Home Retail Group Plc (LON:HOME), the owner of Argos and Homebase, have doubled over the past 12 months, to 157 pence, even though the company told us of a 10% fall in underlying pre-tax profit when it reported full-year results on 1 May. Weak consumer spending hit B&Q profits, which slumped more than 50%, to just 11 million pounds.

But, on the other hand, the recovery at Argos has been spectacular — operating profit was up 10%, to 91million pounds, at the division that many people had written off as a has-been. The first rise in earnings per share for years is forecast for February 2014, and we should get an update on how things are going with the firm’s first interim statement of the current year on the 13th.

Wednesday June 19, Micro Focus
Shares in Micro Focus International plc (LON:MCRO) have had a pretty good year, gaining 55% since this time last year, to 684 pence. And that’s down to years of very strong growth and positive forecasts — with the exception of a flat 2011, earnings have been rising by around 30% or more for the past few years. Earnings growth is expected to fall below that, but analysts are forecasting 4% this year, and 18% next, putting the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of under 14 for April 2013, falling to 11.5 for 2014.

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