Back in the saddle. Miss me? Obviously not! Anyway a quiet start to the week with Iron Ore stocks in the sights as the underlying price dropped 2% to around $90 a tonne, we saw an inevitable sell off in BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.25, -1.5%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$64.54, -1.3%),Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.34, -1.8%),Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.595, -5.6%) and Arrium Limited (A$0.79, -4.2%).Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.32, -12.8%) announced today and copped a hiding. In the end the index having toyed with positiveness fell to close at 5635 down 11 points. Financials also eased after the stellar runs of the last few weeks with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (A$33.22, -0.7%) the worst of the bunch. AMP Limited (A$5.84, +1.2%) pushed further ahead as did IOOF Holdings Limited (A$9.45, +5.6%) as it is emerging as a market fave. Property trusts were a tad weaker with #SCG# leading them down. Energy stocks though were in demand as Caltex Australia Limited (A$27.45, +7.4%) announced more job cuts, always a positive! and profit numbers to boot. Origin Energy Limited (A$15.33, +3.3%),Oil Search Limited (A$9.59, +0.5%) and even much hated Buru Energy Limited (A$0.92, +7.6%) had a good day. In other resource stocks Western Areas Limited (A$4.93, +3.8%),Orocobre Limited (A$3.20, +5.6%) and Cudeco Limited (A$1.715, +1.5%) all did well.
In industrials the builders eased #BKW,Adelaide Brighton Limited (A$3.59, -1.6%),CSR#,Boral Limited (A$5.31, -0.7%) and Fletcher Building Limited (A$8.25, unch) being in the A frame, but packaging stocks Amcor Limited (A$11.36, +2.3%) and Orora Limited (A$1.64, +11.6%) both had a good day after better than expected results from Orora. Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.71, unch) eased, Wesfarmers Limited (A$44.67, -0.1%) and Woolworths Limited (A$36.82, -0.5%) were mixed as were healthcare stocks. Utilities better as yield investors continue to hunt in packs.
Standing tall on the podium and avoiding Mercedes issues were Orora Limited (A$1.64, +11.6%),Caltex Australia Limited (A$27.45, +7.4%),Energy World Corporation Ltd (A$0.465, +6.9%),Qube Holdings Limited (A$2.48, +4.2%),#XRO#,GrainCorp Limited (A$9.22, +4.2%) and #CVN# and #ADJ# in the smalls while retiring to the pitts with a bruised nose were Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.32, -12.8%),#VET#,Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.595, -5.6%),Billabong International Limited (A$0.57, -4.2%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.75, -3.8%) and #SDF# with Range Resources Limited (A$0.026, -10.3%),Focus Minerals Ltd (A$0.011, unch) and Perseus Mining Limited (A$0.43, -6.5%) in the formula threes!
Volume wasn’t bad really! $3.7bn for the day. I guess not bad for a Monday but seemed quiet. Too quiet. Asian markets were mixed as Japan rallied 0.5%Hk down 0.19% and Shanghai down 0.8%.Aussie dollar at 93.152,tulips at $538 and Goldenstuff at $1276.
Stocks and Stories
Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.32, -12.8%) flagged a subdued profit outlook as the company said December half earnings would be in line with the second half of 2013-14 . Sales revenue of $7,981.1M was higher than FY2013 mainly due to higher domestic volumes in Australia. Underlying EBIT of $249.7M, a $175.6M lift on FY2013.Think the reaction may be a little overdone and would expect a bounce from here. No dividend though
Caltex Australia Limited (A$27.45, +7.4%) reported a marginal 1 per cent climb in net profit for the June half, to $173 million, toward the upper end of its guidance in June. Gains in the marketing and distribution business were cancelled out by a loss by the refining part of the business.Net income for the first half slid 17 per cent to $163 million, also in line with guidance, due to declines in the value of inventories.
Are there any limits to how much money the banks can raise on hybrids as National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.40, -0.2%) tapped punters for another $1.65bn at a post GFC record low rate of 82 pts above BBSW.
Crown Resorts Limited (A$16.30, +0.7%) headaches for Macau as gaming workers threaten to surround the casinos in a wage dispute for the seventh time this year. They are after a 10% wage rise. Tell ‘em they are dreaming!
Orora Limited (A$1.64, +11.6%) good numbers from this Amcor Limited (A$11.36, +2.3%) spin off today ,beating expectations as it reported a 44.8 per cent increase in net profit to $104.4 million in 2014 after slashing costs and gaining market share in glass bottles. The result, which was underpinned by a 8% per cent increase in revenues to $3.18 billion, exceeded forecasts of around $97 million.
Beach Energy Limited (A$1.685, -0.3%) full-year profit has dropped 34 per cent despite a 51 per cent surge in revenues due to write-downs on the value of petroleum ventures in Egypt and a geothermal project in southern Australia.Net profit for the year ended June slid to $101.8 million.
Recall Holdings Limited (A$4.80, -6.3%) got trounced as they reported a profit of $US42 million ($45.2 million), down 3 per cent on the previous year. The business had $US39 million in significant items. Barring these, Recall had a profit of $67.9 million, up 57 per cent from the previous year.They will pay a dividend of 8¢ per share, unfranked, on October 23.
Kathmandu Holdings Limited (A$2.89, -4.3%) announced that CEO Peter Halkett was packing up his troubles in his old rucksack and moving on .
UGL Limited (A$6.81, +0.3%) will make a capital return to shareholders return of between $400 million and $500 million to shareholders after paying down some $567 million of net debt.after completing the sale of its DTZ property arm but will not pay a final dividend despite underlying net profits rising 22 per cent to $111.7 million.
#QVE# on its second day on the boards firmed. Options trading at 4c too giving clients a small premium. Nice. Sign of positive moves to come.
Tomorrow’s News Today
Dickie Attenborough RIP. Great actor and director.UK summer bank holiday. Serious business starts next week. Scotland vote on September 18th shaping up as an interesting sideshow.Euro Trash markets look to open higher with no London today. DAX +55, CAC40 +20.
It gets complicated as IS have seized a Syrian airbase. Not sure how the US can bomb IS in Syria. They need an invite I suspect.
More biotech takeovers at patent expiries force the big guys to look for growth elsewhere. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche has said it will buy maker of lung disease therapies InterMune for $8.3bn. Intermune, which is based in California, makes a medicine for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a deadly disease which scars the lungs.
This is now all the rage as US companies takeover others in low tax jurisdictions to change their place of domicile. The new deals are called ‘inversions’ and they are becoming increasingly attractive to multinationals. Usually Ireland is involved or Luxembourg but this time Burger King is taking over Tim Hortons (donuts) from Canada. It would create a 418bn fast food behemoth looking after consumers from breakfast to dinner.Donuts and burgers what’s not to like.
Still on fast food. The Gherkin looks like it is about to sell for 650m quid as 200 buyers line up to buy this icon.
The average salary at The Australian was $174,000.WA downgraded by Moody’s to Aa1.WBC says the AUD is not overvalued and the ATO is targeting the cash economy.
Good to be back!