Thursday 13th August – Australian Market Wrap

The ASX 200 fell 41 points to 6091(0.67%) on the first Super Thursday chock full of results. Dow futures up slightly. Results dominated from the bell with the dogs barking and the performers being slapped down on some disappointment. The analysts have run the slide rules over CBA and came up with neutral at best recommendations and if it was this bad for CBA, then what about the also rans seems to be the consensus. The Big Bank Basket slipped to $126.93 with CBA down 2.6% dragging the sector lower. Other financials saw buyers step up as AMP delivered a special dividend, any dividend these days is special, the stock rallied hard up 10.9%. MFG still attracting interest on its numbers up 1.1% and QBE had a rare pleasant surprise rallying up 6.8%. Rotation on results too it seems. The miners though flatlined at best with FMG coming under unexpected pressure dropping 1.5%, BHP unchanghed and the gold miners enjoyed some buying after a torrid few days. NCM rose 1.1% and EVN put in a glittering show up 3.2% on its result and increase in dividend. In the healthcare space CSL were out of sorts falling back 1.4% and FPH saw sellers appear down 1.3%. TLS was the other big one today and despite maintaining the dividend and in line with consensus fell hard by 8.3% on a slightly disappointing outlook statement and guidance. Roll on 5G as the NBN has been a killer and mobile is not getting any easier. In other corporate news, AGL dropped like a killer bill on the doorstep, falling 9.6%, GMG showed why it is a quality stock and rose 1.3% on its logistics exposure. Solly Lew showed just what a great shopkeeper he is with a very strong update on PMV rising 6.7% and TWE rose 12.3% on better than expected news and still paying a dividend. A rare thing indeed. WPL went nowhere on its results widely anticipated FLT led a charge higher by 5.05% in the travel stocks as its liquidity runway increased. In economic news, we saw confirmation of 1m people out of work although the numbers were slightly better than expected at 7.5%, it failed to fire equities. The 10-year bond yield fell slightly to 0.88% and the AUD firmed on the jobs news up to 71.62c. Meanwhile in Asia, Japan rose 1.9% and China up 0.25% with HK flat.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 down 41 to 6091
  • High 6157 Low 6076. Solid volume.
  • Big Bank Basket rallies to $126.93
  • Travel stocks back in vogue.
  • All Tech Index up 0.67%. XRO unchanged on update.
  • 57 trading days until the US election.
  • Dow Futures up 2.
  • Gold rallies to AUD$2694.
  • 10-year bond yields slip to 0.88%.
  • AUD rallies to 71.61c.
  • Bitcoin firms to $11556 with gold.
  • Meanwhile in Asia, Japan rose 1.9% and China up 0.25% with HK flat.

INSIGHTS FROM THE MARCUS TODAY TEAM

  • MARCUS STRATEGY: A results roller-coaster today as some stocks fly and AGL and Telstra die. The Futures were up 42 and we’re down 42. Banks fold as the CBA results reaction from yesterday is muted at best. A day to forget. Meanwhile we deliver the new presentation the MT portfolios in the STRATEGY section today – hopefully you’ll see these as a huge leap in transparency. Meanwhile we discuss the Northern hemisphere moving on from the virus and the risk that the Southern hemisphere islands of Australia and NZ, who are trying to defend zero cases, are putting us at odds with the rest of the World. The zero cases target is noble, but is it realistic if the rest of the World won’t play ball. Is it unrealistic ambition, or, if Winter arrives in the North and it all blows up again, a stroke of prudent genius. Who knows? Meanwhile the US moves its focus to the US election, bond yields continue to hint at an economic bottom, and the results season makes it clear that this is a month of heightened risk.
  • HENRY’S TAKE: Sold some of the TNT holding yesterday. Next target prices in mind and a look at the new ‘space race’ with Sputnik V proving a ‘dry run’ perhaps for what is to come and how can we continue to reconcile near record highs in the US markets with 30m claiming benefits? Ask the Analyst Friday at 5 PM.

STOCKS

  • MSB +10.10% D-Day looms for FDA hearing.
  • CTD +5.58% FLT +5.05% travel rebound.
  • VMT +14.29% strong demand for placement.
  • SVL +14.63% silver bounce.
  • EGG +17.25% results cheer.
  • PCK -8.00% placement weighs.
  • DMP -3.34% profit taking after good run.
  • NST -2.55% resources and reserves guidance.
  • TPG -5.06% follows TLS down.
  • WGX +0.92% upgrades resources and reserves.
  • PGF +7.49% launches buyback.
  • SDA – recapitalisation plan proposed by Centerbridge Partners.
  • EVS +10.34% good results. Strong sales.
  • PXS – loss narrows to $13.9m.
  • LYC +2.77% new agreement on JARE facility.
  • RIC +0.70% non-cash impairments of $21.6m.
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: Navigator Global (NGI) +39.35% despite revenue falling 12% to $101.5m and Net profit down 32% to $18.148m the dividend was announced at US$5.5c.
  • Biggest Rises: TWE, AMP, MSB, PSI, GNC, LOV, QBE and PMV.
  • Biggest Falls: AGL, BRG, TLS, TPG, GPT, MLT , AZJ and DMP..

TODAY

  • AMP +10.87% 1H 20 underlying profit1 of $149m down from $256m in 1H19. Strong capital position after AMP Life sale with surplus capital of $1.4bn. Return of capital to shareholders of a $344m fully franked special dividend of 10c and a $200 on market share buyback. Although the company is paying a special, it is not paying a final dividend. Client remediation on track to be 80% complete by end of FY 20 and fully complete in 2021. On track for target of $300m annual run-rate savings by FY 22. The CEO had this to say. “With the second wave of COVID-19 impacting the economy here and overseas, we expect conditions to remain challenging. However, we also see opportunities emerging over the longer term as we transform AMP to be a simpler, client-led and growth-oriented business.” The teleconference kicks off at 9.15 this morning.
  • QBE Insurance Group (QBE) +6.76% H1 adjusted cash profit -US$666m vs consensus -US$744.6m. Gross written premium US$8.01bn vs year-ago US$7.64bn. Net earned premium US$5.51bn vs year-ago US$5.67bn. Adjusted combined operating ratio 103.4% 97.4% vs year-ago adjusted 95.2%. Adjusted combined operating ratio, ex-COVID 97.4%. Declared a 10% franked interim dividend of 4c/share.
  • Northern Star (NST) –2.55% Production guidance to hit 1m Oz in 2022/2023 up 30%. The company expressed 2020-21 production guidance of 720koz to 820koz, and 900koz in 2021-22. Its 2019-20 group mineral resource estimate is 190 million tonnes (at 3.7gpt Au for 22.3 million ounces) and group mineral reserve estimate is 54 million tonnes (at 3.5gpt Au for 6 million ounces).
  • Breville (BRG) -8.39% FY profit down 1.8% to $66.2m. The Global Product segment revenue grew by +24.9% to $764.4m (FY19: $612.0m). In constant currency, revenue grew +20.1% driven by European expansion. Final dividend of 20.5c. total working capital decreased in FY20 by $22.3m primarily driven by a planned unwind in previous tactical investments in inventory. Outlook: Business trajectory is healthy, and the balance sheet has been strengthened to provide resilience against near term turbulence as well as funds for growth. Net cash at 30 June 2020 was $128.5m compared to $9.8m at 30 June 2019 which included the proceeds of the capital raise.
  • Woodside (WPL) –0.92% Underlying net profit after tax of $303m half loss of US$4.1bn down from a profit of US$419m a year ago as impairments bite. US$3.92bn in non-cash impairments weighs on the result but that at least was known. This combined with contract provisions rounded the total impairments up to US$4.37bn. Dividend of US26c. It delivered its highest first-half production result in H1 2020, achieving a record 50.1 MMboe, up 28% on the first half of 2019, and said production has been maintained throughout the pandemic. Achieved low unit production cost of $4.5/boe across the portfolio. Company says it is in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Evolution Mining (EVN) +3.25% Increases its dividend by 50% as profits rose 38% to a record of $301.6m. EBITDA up 41% to $1.03bn. AISC of $1043. Dividend of 9c. Targeting profit of between 670,000 and 730,000 ounces in the 2021 financial year at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,240 to $1,300 per ounce.
  • Telstra (TLS) –8.26% Maintains dividends.5c final and 3c special. Is there any thing else to add? Revenue fell 6.1% to $23.7bn and income down 5.9% to $26.2bn. Profits dropped to $1.84bn in line with expectations. The company said it expected total income for 2021 to be in the range of $23.2bn to $25.1bn, with underlying EBITDA in the range of $6.5bn to $7.0bn.It is targeting a return on invest capital to be greater than 7% by 2023.
  • Premier Investments (PMV) +6.68% Second half sales $484.2m, down 18.0% vs year ago. Online sales up 70% to $123.3m. Expects FY EBIT in the range of $184.8-185.8m vs year-ago $167.3m.
  • Flight Centre (FLT) +5.05% Expects to report full-year NPAT in the range of -$525m to -$475m. FLT achieved an underlying PBT in the order of $150m during the eight months to the end of February, before widespread travel restrictions were applied. FY20 one-offs will include ~$110m in COVID-related costs. Has surpassed its key target of a monthly net operating cash outflow of $65m. Signs of corporate recovery in most countries but slower leisure recovery likely, given most customers are still unable to travel
  • Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) +12.33% Full-year underlying NPAT $315.8m vs year-ago $422.8m. Revenue $2.65bn vs consensus $2.63bn. EBITS $533.5m vs year-ago $681m. Final dividend 8c/share. Management comments, “while we have recently seen positive signs of recovery across a number of our key markets and channels, we are cautious on the near-term outlook given the uncertainty that remains around the pace of that recovery. We remain optimistic around our ability to return to sustainable profit and margin growth over the medium to long-term.
  • Xero (XRO) +0.50% Notes total subscribers increased by 96k, reaching 2.38m subscribers from April 1 to July 31. All geographies achieved positive net subscriber additions. Overall, operating conditions remain uncertain and XRO continues to anticipate an impact from COVID-19 on Xero’s FY21 results
  • AGL Energy (AGL) –9.59% Full-year underlying NPAT $816m vs consensus $815m. Revenue $12.16bn vs consensus $12.3bn. Underlying EBIT $1.32bn vs year-ago $1.66bn. Net cash from operating activities $2.16bn. Final dividend 51c (80% franked). Intends to undertake a special dividend program over FY21 and FY22. Anticipates paying special dividends of up to 25% of underlying Profit after tax. Expects to reduce franking on dividends to zero in FY21 and FY22 while it utilises historic tax losses. In FY21, expects underlying NPAT $560-660m.
  • Goodman Group (GMG) +1.30% Full-year operating EPS 57.5c vs consensus 58c. Operating profit $1.06bn in line with expectations. Reported NPAT $1.5bn vs year-ago $1.63bn. In FY21, expects operating EPS 62.7c, operating profit $1.17bn. Anticipates the full-year distribution will remain at 30c. Expect development WIP to exceed $7B in 1H21.

ECONOMIC NEWS

Labour Force numbers but somewhat out of date and distorted by government stimulus packages.

  • Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 114,700 people between June and July, and hours worked increased 1.3%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

  • Hours worked rose 1.3% in July, and increased more for females (2.3%) than males (0.6%). Hours worked for females were around 4.9% below March, compared to 5.9% for males.
  • The underemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points, to 11.2%, but remained 2.4 percentage points above March.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

  • Employment increased 114,700 to 12,460,800 people. Full-time employment increased 43,500 to 8,547,100 people and part-time employment increased 71,200 to 3,913,600 people.
  • Unemployment increased 15,700 to 1,009,400 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased less that 0.1 pts to 7.5%.
  • Underemployment rate decreased 0.5 pts to 11.2%.
  • Underutilisation rate decreased 0.4 pts to 18.7%.
  • Participation rate increased by 0.6 pts to 64.7%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 21.7 million hours to 1,681.3 million hours.

This is not showing how the Melbourne and Victorian lockdown is affecting things:

  • The average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults in Australia in May 2020 was $1,714 (seasonally adjusted), up 3.3% from November 2019

COVID-19 NEWS

  • China says frozen Chicken wings from Brazil test positive for CV19.
  • New Zealand, amid reporting 13 new cases, said it will transfer anyone infected into quarantine facilities.
  • Venezuela’s Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said he has tested positive for CV19.
  • 800 workers in Singapore have been quarantined after a case was discovered.

BONDS

ASIAN NEWS

  • Apple could have problems in China if Trump bans WeChat threatening its US$44bn market there. If Apple was forced to remove the WeChat service from its global app stores, iPhone annual shipments will decline 25% to 30% while other hardware, including AirPods, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac computers, may fall 15%-25%.
  • HK Media tycoon says arrest took him by surprise. I bet.
  • South Korea tech exports surge 3.3% from a year ago.
  • Tencent said that online gaming and cloud services will add to the rise in 2Q revenue. The digital conglomerate reported total revenue of RMB114.9 billion ($23.07 billion) in the three months ended June 30, which was 6.3% up on the prior quarter. Tencent reported net profit for the quarter of RMB32.46bn (US$6.52bn), up by 10.4% on the previous three months.

  • Shipments of memory chips rose 5% in July, after contracting in June. Exports of system semiconductors, which help process data, rose 8%, their third consecutive monthly increase.

EUROPEAN NEWS

  • European futures pointing to a soft opening.
  • The Trump/Harris battle begins.
  • Criticism still remains on Russia’s Sputnik vaccine even though it is based on internationally approved Ebola treatments.
  • Cisco warns of broad IT spending decline.

And finally…

I was an accountant from the age of 20 to the age of 30, before I was sacked for no apparent reason.
What a waste of 14 years that was.

What did the inventor of the drawing board go back to?

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Clarence

XXXX

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