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Investors look to earnings and US strategy in Just Eat’s results

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Just Eat’s parent company reports results on Tuesday (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
Just Eat’s parent company reports results on Tuesday (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway.com is expected to report a drop to negative earnings in the first six months of the financial year.

Investors already know that the company’s gross transaction value hit 14.1 billion euros (£12 billion) in the first six months of the year, and that orders rose 61%.

So they will be looking at earnings when the results drop on Tuesday.

The business is expected to make an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) loss of 205 million euros (£174 million), according to a consensus supplied by analysts at Numis.

Numis’s Georgios Pilakoutas said he thinks that investors will also be looking to see how open Just Eat is about its investment levels, especially in delivery costs, as well as its strategy in the US.

It has been a period of change for JET.

Formed in February last year when the Dutch firm Takeaway.com took over its UK peer, it later gobbled up Grubhub a US food delivery company, for £5.75 billion.

Yet at least two major investors think this might not be enough to ward off a lowball hostile takeover of the company.

Last month activist investor Cat Rock lobbied the board to either sell off part of its business, or to merge with a major rival.

A big merger would make JET more takeover-proof as rivals would struggle to raise the money to buy it off the market, the activist argued.

Shares reached their all-time peak last October, trading at 9,980p each. On Friday they were trading at 6,161p.

Consolidation talk in the market has not been dampened by Just Eat’s UK rival Deliveroo.

Earlier this month Germany peer Delivery Hero took a 5% stake in Deliveroo, sending the company’s shares soaring.

The chief executives of both companies have tried to play down the likelihood of a takeover offer. Deliveroo only listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in March.

A month ago JET’s shares fell by around 9% in just one day when the company revealed some early figures for the half-year results.

It came despite the firm saying that it now expected orders to grow by 45% during 2021, compared with a previous 42% estimate.