British American Tobacco are smoking profits along with Next who have had a terrific start to 2014 

Jonny Smith's Shares

Despite the stagnant market place over the summer months there has been numerous goings on over the past two weeks with many interim results publications. In previous share news Sports Direct owner Mr Ashley controversially opted out of the companies share bonus scheme, which caused a decrease of two per cent over the past two weeks since their interim result statement, although recent news has seen a deal whereby Direct Golf has announced they are to combine with Sports Direct, giving the company major links throughout Europe which will help transform the Direct Golf’s distribution and marketing of their brand.

Another quick bit of news from the early part of this week is in relation to Next which released their results earlier on Tuesday morning, which caused a 2.53 per cent share price rise to 6,855p. The rise was after Next reported their sales for the first half-year were up 10.7 per cent, but 2.4 per cent of this growth came down to the company opening up new profitable floor space. This has caused Next to raise its profit targets for the year ahead following a positive start to 2014. The positive Christmas period has spring-boarded the company to new heights in 2014 with an overall share price rise of 5.62 per cent since Christmas, which has been a good yield for long-term investors.


Moving onto this week’s news, ITV announce an interim result on Wednesday with recent reports in the media suggesting the company is likely to be bought out by Liberty Global towards the end of 2014. The Liberty Global chief executive believes this would be a good deal for their company to buy a major British broadcaster such as ITV who they can transform, however, the takeover is not quite simple as Liberty Global is to have first refusal to make a bid on ITV should there not be a rival bid over the next six months. Here I would advise to keep your eyes peeled around Christmas time to see if they fully acquire ITV. The company is expected to post some good results with a two per cent revenue increase in this quarter which is largely due to the advertisement revenue from their coverage of the FIFA World Cup. Since the start of the year ITV’s share price has rose by 2.43 per cent, but last week the company had a rise of 14.68 per cent since the Liberty Global takeover speculation.

British American Tobacco (BAT) has an interim result announcement on Wednesday with numerous market analysts suggesting the company is going to offer a very good dividend of around four per cent. The attitudes towards smoking over recent times have changed, but this hasn’t put off smokers even though research is proving the harmful effects smoking has on the human body. The bad press surrounding smoking has not altered BAT who have seen profit rise by ten per cent annual since 2008. Numerous market analysts are advising investors to buy shares in the company with Societe Generale and Jefferies group having a 3,500p, and 3,900p target on the stock. The current share price for the company is 3,565p with a year low of 2,871p and a year high of 3,625p. Though for short-term investors a good dividend can often mean a share price decline so be wary following their result announcement tomorrow morning.

British American Tobacco

Overall, ITV looks a promising long-term investment with Liberty Global potentially buying the company, but its share price is around a year high. I would advise short-term investors to buy on Tuesday prior to their positive interim results on Wednesday morning. Keep an eye out for Next as they have galvanized in recent times with greater profit targets set, which means the company is optimistic for what lies in the year so this does look solid long term investment. BAT also looks a good share for the long-term with growth year on year, and a lucrative dividend pay out for investors certainly points to a positive outlook for investors.

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