The ASX 200 rose 33 points to 7088 as results dominated. The good news continued for CBA shareholders with a solid beat to forecasts and a stable dividend. NIM also increased and the stock rose 4.1% dragging the rest of the banking sector in its wake. WBC rose 0.6% and ANZ up 0.8%. The other big daddy, CSL produced too with a solid result and an upgrade to the outlook, rising 0.8%. Other companies to report included IAG up 0.15% despite a nasty claims season, BAP rose 6.1% despite margin compression and headwinds in the local economy. One casualty of the newly named virus, CoVid-19 is BKL down 12.8% as it cut its dividend and revealed supply chain issues and manufacturing issues in Victoria. CPU also fell 0.6% after its profits halved after selling its Indian business and ORA down 4.1% on its results. AMC dropped 1.9% after reporting an increase in earnings despite a fall in net income. In the tech stocks, CAR posted a 8.3% gain after the results showed the power of geographical diversity of earnings and the standout stock was IEL jumping 28.4% on its commentary on the CoVid19 fallout which seems minimal. So far. Outside of results, the miners saw some profit-taking despite commodity rises, BHP down 0.4% and WPL announced a $1bn write-down of its Canadian project and fell 0.3%. NST impressed with a 54% profit hike and rose 0.4%. AUD is higher at 67.24c and the 10-year yield is higher too at 1.06%. Asian markets were slightly higher as Covid-19 fears recede again. China up 0.3% as Xi says he will do whatever it takes. Japan up 0.5%.
- ASX 200 up 33 to 7088. Records approach.
- High 7099 Low 7055. Good volume.
- Banks rally on CBA results. 19 points of ASX rise down to CBA.
- CSL satisfies. BKL needs a vitamin boost.
- Miners under pressure despite commodity rises.
- Results the focus across the board.
- 10-year bond yields up to 1.06%
- AUD rises to 67.24c.
- Dow futures up points.
- Aussie gold slips to $2330
- Bitcoin rallies to US$10314
- Asian markets weaker with Japan closed for a holiday and China down 0.4%.
- JLG -4.80% some profit taking.
- BPT -4.33% broker downgrades.
- JHX -1.84% results disappoint slightly.
- JMS +7.41% iron ore price rise.
- AMP +4.58% class action.
- ZNO +21.31% CoVid-19 continues.
- FLC +7.25% business update.
- PCG -7.62% FUM
- LVT -5.63% profit taking.
- TLS -1.80% flip flopping around.
- TYR -2.67% profit taking.
- MP1 -2.26% results disappoint.
- Speculative stock of the day: Alice Queen (AQX) +38.46% response to ASX speeding ticket yesterday included results of a series of further drilling at Boda to be released on a hole-by-hole basis and that it is currently awaiting assays from the first hole to receive and release within 2 weeks. More results after that a Sydney Mining Club lunch.
- Biggest Risers: IEL, TGR, CAR, JMS, NGI, BAP, PPH and IMD
- Biggest Falls: BKL, JLG, BPT, ORA, PPK and AMA
- Commonwealth Bank (CBA) +4.08% Half-year results. Statutory NPAT up 34% to $6,161 (although that figure includes a $1.7bn gain from the CFSGAM sale). Cash NPAT of $4.48bn exceeded the $4.32bn expected despite falling 4.3%. Operating income was flat on 1H19 at $12.42bn. The group net interest margin (NIM) rose 1bp to 2.11%, leading net interest income (NII) to lift 1.7% to $9.29bn. Home lending was up 4% and business lending up 3% over the period, while the bank reported a very strong deposit result, up 9%. An unchanged 200c interim dividend has been declared.
- CSL (CSL) +0.77% Half-year result. Net profit up 11% to US$1.25bn (or US$1.29bn on a constant currency basis), while earnings also rose 11% up to US$2.75 a share. Revenue of $4.91bn topped the $1.57bn expected. An interim dividend of US$0.95c (~142c when converted to AUD) has been declared. The company now expects FY20 net profit to be in the range of US$2.11-$2.17bn on a constant currency basis, representing growth of around 10-13% over FY19.
- Computershare (CPU) –0.57% Half-year results. NPAT of $157.0m fell short of the $164.9m expected despite revenue being in-line at $1.12bn and EBITDA of $338.7m exceeding the $311.6m expected. A 30% franked interim dividend of 23c has been declared. FY20 guidance unchanged.
- James Hardie Industries (JHX) -1.84% reports Q3 adjusted NOPAT $77.4m vs consensus $85.1m. Revenue $616.7m vs consensus $611.4m. EBIT $107.2m vs consensus $121.4m. Expects full-year adjusted NOPAT between $350-370m. Continues to expect the North America Fiber Cement segment EBIT margin to be between 25% and 27%. Back home, JHX anticipates the underlying market will continue to experience high single-digit percent contraction, but expects volume from its Australian business to continue to grow above the market.
- Insurance Australia Group (IAG) +0.15% reports H1 cash earnings $380m vs consensus $408.5m. NPAT $283m vs year-ago $500m. Gross written premiums (GWP) $5.96bn vs consensus $6.0bn. Reported insurance margin 13.5% vs year-ago 13.7%. Interim dividend 10 cps. Increased FY20 forecasts for net natural peril claim costs to $850m vs prior guided $715m. Reported margin guidance lowered to 12.5-14.5% from 16-18%. ‘Low single-digit’ GWP growth reaffirmed.
- Carsales (CAR) +8.34% Good set of numbers. Revenue up 5% to $214m. NPAT up 22%. Dividend lifted to 22c from 20.5c. Both Korea and Brazil are kicking goals. The company cites a challenging domestic market but its international portfolio is helping offset local issues.
- IDP Education (IEL) +28.42% Total revenue of $379m up 25%. EBIT was $86.9m up 49%. Adjusted Earnings Per Share of 23.4cps (+41%) and a 16.5c interim dividend franked at 17%. The commentary on the impact of coronavirus was minimal. The company said it was being managed and is currently having no material impact. The strategy remains on track.
- Amcor (AMC) –1.93% Improved outlook for FY20. Adjusted EBIT up 4.4% in constant currency terms to $699m. Quarterly dividend of US11.5c. $500m buyback is on track to be completed by the end of FY20. Integration of the Bemis business progressing well, with approximately $30m of pre-tax synergy benefits delivered in the first half of fiscal 2020 and outlook for fiscal 2020 pre-tax synergy benefits increased to $80m.
- Megaport (MP1) -2.26% a $19m loss in the first six months of the financial year, 14.4% more than its loss in the prior corresponding period despite a 70.3% increase in the company’s revenue to $25.9m. Normalised EBITDA loss of $10.3m, 40% of revenue (1HFY19: 82% of revenue).
- Australian Finance Group (AFG) -2.55% ACCC raises preliminary competition concerns about the proposed acquisition of Connective Group by AFG. ACCC Chair Rod Sims said combining AFG and Connective would create the largest mortgage aggregator in Australia by a significant margin, accounting for almost 40% of all mortgage brokers operating in Australia.
- Blackmores (BKL) -12.79% reports H1 underlying NPAT $18.0m vs consensus $19.4m. Revenue $302.7m vs consensus $315.3m. No interim dividend. Transition to manufacturing program has put pressure on H2. BKL said it now expects an “adverse cost of goods” hit of around $13m and anticipates at least 2-3 months of China sales and supply challenges due to Coronavirus. FY NPAT expected in the range of $17-21m.
- Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Confidence Index for February: +2.3% to 95.5 points.
- Housing-related sentiment was mixed in February, buyer sentiment deteriorating but price expectations up a touch after recording another very strong gain last month. The ‘time to buy a dwelling’ index fell 5.6% in February, unwinding a similar sized gain last month to be back near recent lows.
- RBNZ says no rate cuts this year.
- UBS economists have lowered their forecasts for the local economy to a contraction of 0.1% in the first quarter. UBS expects a 30% fall in outbound travel from China this year, with the first quarter the most impacted.
- Samsung unveils its new four camera Galaxy S20. The 6.9-inch Ultra model has four cameras on the rear, which include a 108-megapixel sensor as well as 100x zoom, 16GB of memory, a huge battery and a large US$1,399.99 price tag.
EUROPEAN AND US NEWS
- Boeing said airlines in Southeast Asia will need 4,500 new aircraft over the next two decades to meet demand from the region’s growing middle class. Regional growth will be driven by carriers from Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
- Have to feel sorry for the infected cruise ship which has now been rejected by five ports. The ‘Westerdam’ has 2257 passengers on board. Fears are that it will run out of fuel and food soon. Thailand became the latest country to name them ‘personas non grata’.
- Looks like weekend at Bernies’ is coming true as he wins in New Hampshire. Biden crashes out again. Mud sticks.
- Sir Humphrey would say it’s a very courageous decision, UK PM BoJo has committed to building a high-speed rail link between the North of England and London. Expected to cost around GBP106bn. Anyone want to guess what the final cost will be?
And finally…still love this one..
The sergeant-major growled at the young soldier, “I didn’t see you at camouflage training this morning.”
“Thank you very much, sir.”
A man noticed that his credit card had been stolen but didn’t report it. The thief was spending less then his wife.
“If you had a dollar,” quizzed the teacher, “and you asked your father for another dollar and fifty cents, how much money would you have?” “One dollar.” answered little Johnny. “You don’t know your basic maths.” said the teacher shaking her head, disappointed. Little Johnny shook his head too, “You don’t know my daddy.”