Is EMI still rocking and rolling? The City doesn't think so.
Shares in the music publisher have lost a fifth of their value since the summer as analysts worry about efforts to maintain its share of the market and whether profits for the six months to September 30 will come in at the lower end of expectations.
All will be revealed on Wednesday when EMI releases its half-year results, which should show an improved performance on the back of successful album releases by bands such as Coldplay and The Rolling Stones.
In a trading update last month, the group forecast a 4.5 per cent rise in revenues at EMI Music. Turnover at its publishing arm, which sells music rights to film and television makers, is set to rise 5.5 per cent.
Barclays is expecting EMI to report pretax profits of £40.2 million at the interim stage - up from £36.6 million for the six months to the end of September last year.
Mobile phone heavyweight Vodafone is expected to deliver a positive set of first half figures tomorrow with profits tipped to rise to £6.5 billion from £6.3 billion last time.
Any comments on the predicted uptake of 3G services this Christmas will be eagerly awaited by analysts, after the firm unveiled details of 15 new handsets earlier this year.
The group said in July that its UK operations had regained momentum during its first quarter, increasing total customer numbers by 8.9 per cent, or 165,000, to 15.5 million.
Investors will find out whether Sainsbury's recovery is still on track when it reports on its first-half performance on Wednesday.
The UK's third largest supermarket has already reported a 2.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales excluding petrol for its second quarter.
Analyst Simon Proctor at stockbroker Charles Stanley said: "While we would not expect current trade numbers to be given, we have no reason to believe that underlying third quarter growth has slowed from the second quarter."
Analysts expect pretax profits for the six months to October 1 to come in at £119 million, unchanged on a year earlier under new accounting standards. The flat performance is likely to reflect the cost of investing in its turnaround strategy.
Higher petrol prices, increased energy bills, rising debts and a slowing housing market are combining to keep shoppers at home so analysts will scrutinise half-year figures from Argos owner GUS on Thursday for shoots of recovery in consumer confidence and spending.
Much of the detail is already known after GUS used a trading update last month to reveal that like-forlike sales fell three per cent at catalogue business Argos in the six months to September 30, while the figure for Homebase was four per cent lower in the period since the end of February.
Group profits should be supported by its Experian credit checking business, but they are expected to be flat year- on- year - totalling £ 373.2 million against £371.6 million at the same stage of 2004.