Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

JSE heavyweight Naspers releases its interim results on Friday, probably at about 3pm, judging by last year.

“Earnings per share were impacted significantly by the once-off gain recognised on disposal of the group’s interest in Flipkart,” Naspers said in a trading statement on November 19.

Naspers sold its 11% stake in Indian e-commerce group Flipkart to US retail group Walmart for $2.2bn in August.

“Headline earnings and earnings per share increased considerably as a result of the group’s share of fair-value gains recognised by Tencent on certain of its investments. Possible future gains on disposal and fair-value adjustments on investments are by nature unpredictable.”

Naspers said it expected its “core” headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-September to grow about 40% of the corresponding period’s “adjusted” $2.77.

“Shareholders are reminded that the board considers core headline earnings an appropriate indicator of the operating performance of the group, as it adjusts for non-recurring and non-operational items,” the trading statement said.

The group’s policy is to pay only a final dividend, so the windfall from the Flipkart disposal will not be shared with investors yet.

Naspers’s dominant asset, its 31%-holding in Chinese internet firm Tencent, was up 0.71% to HK$314.20 ahead of the JSE’s opening on Friday, indicating Naspers will rebound from Thursday’s 2.57% drop to R2,820.

The SA Revenue Service (Sars) is scheduled to release October’s balance of trade figures at 2pm. SA is expected to have imported about R3bn more than it exported, keeping the deficit close to September’s level.

Image: Investec

Investec Bank economist Kamilla Kaplan forecast a trade deficit of R1.5bn in October, mainly due to seasonal considerations relating to increased imports ahead of the festive season and year-end.

The rand was trading at R13.66/$, R15.57/€ and R17.46/£ at 6.25am.

laingr@businesslive.co.za