Another firm day today as we head into the month end. Volatility was sadly lacking with a 29 point range closing on its highs at 5476 up 28 points. The National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.64, +0.8%) results set the scene with no real surprises and a cunning plan to open the pod doors HAL and cast the UK adrift. NKOTB Andrew Thorburn has wasted no time in putting up the ‘For Sale’ sign and shareholders will reward him for doing so. After yesterday’s buy the resources and sell the bank/industrials ,it was time to turn around today. Good results from Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$6.45, +2.5%) also helped things along as AMP Limited (A$5.74, +1.6%),QBE Insurance Group Limited (A$11.53, +2.0%) also basked in the love. In property trusts Mirvac Group (A$1.75, -1.1%) set the tone and everyone else slid a little except Lend Lease Group (A$15.55, +1.2%) a winner ,as were #WFD#,United Overseas Australia Limited (A$0.505, +8.6%).Consumer stocks also did well with Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (A$9.07, +4.5%) popping on their Indo growth strategy. Wesfarmers Limited (A$43.92, +1.3%) on their numbers and Woolworths Limited (A$35.72, +0.6%) on Jamie Olivers’ brilliant new summer recipes. Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.59, +0.7%) another stand out as were Csl Limited (A$79.16, +1.6%) as it marches towards $100.Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.215, -4.4%) seriously down, as were APN News & Media Limited (A$0.76, -3.8%) ,#NEC# perked up and Seven West Media Limited (A$1.70, +0.3%) announced their new rival busting line up.”Dancing with the Brother”,”My Laundry Rules” and “Masterplumber” look set to once again hurt TEN.
In resource land, once again gold got dusted .Not really sure at $1200 its worth even trying to explore or mine. Newcrest Mining Limited (A$9.76, -1.5%),Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.25, -9.1%),Silver Lake Resources Limited (A$0.285, -8.1%) and Oceanagold Corporation (A$2.20, -6.4%) taking it very badly indeed. Big stocks BHP Billiton Limited (A$33.55, -0.7%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$59.30, -0.6%) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$3.44, -0.3%) all suffered slightly but the small ones got whacked again. BC Iron Limited (A$1.02, -7.7%),Iron Road Limited (A$0.16, -5.9%) and Atlas Iron Limited (A$0.34, unch) less so. Arrium Limited (A$0.33, +1.5%) even rallied! Energy stocks were mostly down despite oil price gains. Oil Search Limited (A$8.60, +1.3%) was an exception but Santos Limited (A$12.96, +0.3%),Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$39.72, -0.1%),AWE Limited (A$1.735, +0.6%),Karoon Gas Australia Limited (A$2.94, +0.3%) and Buru Energy Limited (A$0.695, -0.7%) all scrambling for mates. Other base metals diggers were also weaker with Panaust Limited (A$1.75, -2.0%),Independence Group NL (A$4.42, +0.5%),Sandfire Resources NL (A$5.66, -0.5%),Western Areas Limited (A$4.21, -0.7%) and Sandfire Resources NL (A$5.66, -0.5%).
In the winners enclosure weighing their saddles were United Overseas Australia Limited (A$0.505, +8.6%),Echo Entertainment Group Limited (A$3.76, +6.2%)(Macau not going so well for Crown Resorts Limited (A$14.29, +0.4%)),Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (A$3.54, +8.3%),Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (A$9.07, +4.5%),NIB Holdings Limited (A$3.24, +3.8%)(big scale backs in Medibank) and Unilife Corporation (A$0.72, +7.5%),Neapmap Ltd, Terramin Australia Limited(blast from the past) and Iproperty Group Limited (A$2.38, +12.3%) whilst bringing up the rear were Ardent Leisure Group (A$3.23, -6.1%),Regis Resources Limited (A$1.32, -5.4%),Greencross Limited (A$8.60, -4.6%),#GNE# and Slater & Gordon Limited (A$6.05, -2.6%) in the thoroughbreds and Vocus Communications Limited (A$5.82, +1.2%),Silver Lake Resources Limited (A$0.285, -8.1%) and Adslot Ltd in the soon to be pet food stakes.
So to the Dollar at 87.728 and bitcons at $384 with Aussie Gold at $1382.At this rate I will have to report it in Rupiah to make it sound better. Asian markets were dominated by Japan up 0.7%.HK down 0.46 % and Shankers unchanged.
Stocks and Stories
Well this is embarrassing. Brokers, us included have bid for over $12bn worth of Medibank Private. Sounds like there is $1.5bn available through this process.
National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.64, +0.8%) Let’s face I this is the only thing that punters really care about. The fully-franked final dividend of 99c a share, which will be payable on the 16th of December. In the small print revenue in Australia fell 1.4 per cent because of the tighter margins, weaker markets and lower financial trading income, though they did alright in its share of the mortgage market during the year.UK business was the problem as write downs and provisions the name of the game.
Wesfarmers Limited (A$43.92, +1.3%) Strong growth at Coles, Bunnings and Officeworks has countered weak sales at Target, lifting sales at Wesfarmers by 4.6 per cent to $13.6 billion in the three months ending September. Same-store sales at Coles rose a better-than-expected 4.3 per cent, up from growth of 4.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014.
More AGM speak today from Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (A$42.31, -2.7%) in Brisbane hoping for a better end to the year. Hopefully on track to achieve its forecast for an underlying profit before tax of between $395 million and $405 million this financial year, a 5 to 8 per cent rise on 2013-14.
Insurance Australia Group Limited (A$6.45, +2.5%) Good news for NRMADE people today as the insurer suggested it is targeting up to 20 per cent revenue growth in fiscal 2015 as it continues to integrate the Wesfarmers Insurance takeover. Judging by the amount of ads on at the moment they are going pretty well. Cash to burn.
Echo Entertainment Group Limited (A$3.76, +6.2%) which has casinos in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, said in the first 17 weeks of the financial year to October 27, revenue rose 27 per cent on a normalised basis to $762 million. It is also expecting a big pay back on its refurb with high rollers heading to our shores rather than Macau where the Chinese authorities are killing the joint with their anti-corruption and money laundering killjoy policies.
Moreton resources limited reaffirmed its guidance for fiscal 2015 at 12.0-12.3 cents a stapled security. The group is on track to settle the sales of 2200 lots in the 2015 financial year.
Australia’s terms of trade has continued to fall over the September quarter, dragged lower by falling commodity prices, particularly for iron ore and coal. The ToT dropped 3.2 per cent over the three months against the previous quarter, and is now 8.7 per cent down over 12 months, calculates Westpac.
Tomorrow’s News Today
Good to see Malcolm Turnbull pushing ahead with the Governments’ plan to force ISPs to keep Metadata for two years. The internet tax is coming. Great news .Not working that well for Hungarians either as tens of thousands took to the streets in sympathy with Australians on this new impost!
Samsung Electronics has seen its quarterly operating profit fall to its lowest level in more than three years because of slowing smartphone sales. The company said profit fell 60% to 4.1tn won ($3.8bn) in the three months to September.
OPEC reckons 50% of US shale production is ‘at risk’ with oil at $80! They hope!
Surprise. Brazil’s central bank raised its interest rate to 11.25 per cent. Analysts had widely expected the BCB to keep its rate unchanged at 11 per cent.
Visa buying back $5bn of its own shares. France’s Sanofi have sacked their CEO Chris Viehbacher (German-Canadian,good combo!!!!), who was ‘tactless and hurtful’ in suggesting job and cost cuts. Sounds like their very own Sol Trujillo. Very French though to sack someone with bad news and a plan.
In Zombieland,Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Fix it again Tony!) plans to spin off Ferrari and sell a 10% stake in the luxury carmaker on the stock market. Tesco now the subject of a serious Fraud Office investigation.
And a sobering thought from Harvard economist Larry Katz who says that US society has come to resemble a deformed and unstable apartment building: The penthouse at the top is getting bigger and bigger, the lower levels are overcrowded, the middle levels are full of empty apartments and the elevator has stopped working.
Tomorrow is Halloween. There is even an app for trick or treating! Oh Please!
That is all