All eyes on CRH's results
GLOBAL STOCK markets have seen some pretty wild swings in recent weeks as thin holiday-season trading volumes have exacerbated volatility caused by, yes, you guessed it, concerns over the never-ending euro zone sovereign debt crisis.In particular, London City traders have been conspicuous by their absence, as they abandoned their Bloomberg terminals in favour of the Olympics. Stock market moves have been largely driven by the macro picture lately, but tomorrow at least the Irish bourse will have some stock-specific news to give it direction. CRH, the largest constituent of the Iseq, is due to release first-half (H1) results.
In May, the cement giant guided that its H1 Ebitda – a proxy for cash flow – would be close to last year’s level of €575 million, so this number shouldn’t cause a huge amount of surprise. Investors will be more interested in how CRH’s markets performed through the second quarter, particularly Europe, given the difficult economic climate in countries such as the Netherlands.
Investors will also be hoping for positive soundings relating to the US, as CRH is in line to benefit from the recovery in the housing sector, and, potentially, the highway bill which has been passed by Congress. The company may also comment on MA activity, with investors particularly interested in whether the potential deal with Indian cement business Jaiprakash Associates has legs.