Equity Briefing: DS Smith, Novacyt and Plug Power

In London, packaging company DS Smith and testing and diagnostics firm Novacyt are both due to release full-year results this morning, while over in the US hydrogen fuel cell firm Plug Power will publish first-quarter results later today.

DS Smith

DS Smith will release full-year results this morning covering the 12 months to the end of April.

The company has already revealed that momentum continued to build in the second half, driven by higher sales, a recovery in prices and a better-than-expected performance from the US business, which has seen profitability significantly improve.

Analysts are expecting annual revenue to decline to around £5.87 billion from £6.04 billion and for earnings to also fall. Adjusted EPS is forecast to decrease to 23.64p from 33.0p, while reported EPS is expected to drop to 16.77p from 38.2p.

On a more positive note, cashflow is expected to improve and cash conversion was over 100% during the year, allowing it to continue to cut its debt.


Novacyt will also be releasing full-year results for 2020 this morning.

Back in January, Novacyt said annual revenue would rise to around £277 million from just £11.5 million the year before, with Ebitda above £187 million.

However, the diagnostics and testing company saw its shares slide heavily in April when it warned that it was in dispute about a contract involving coronavirus tests with the UK government, which placed half of its revenue in the final quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 at risk. That has placed huge questions over short-term income as investors wait to find out how it will be resolved, overshadowing the potential of its wider product portfolio and other contracts.

Plug Power

Later today over the pond, Plug Power, a leading provider of hydrogen fuel cells and stations, will release first-quarter results before markets open.

Analysts are expecting first-quarter gross billings to jump to $76.9 million from $43.0 million the year before. It is expected to sink deeper into the red, with the consensus forecasting an operating loss of $31.0 million compared to a $25.9 million loss the year before, while its pretax loss is anticipated widening to $44.9 million from $37.5 million.

Notably, Plug Power said it was aiming to deliver gross billings of over $105 million in the second quarter and $470 million during 2021 as a whole, so watch for any tweaks made to its guidance.

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