ASX 200 flat lines at 6886. All the action in results with ‘Super Thursday’ upon us. CSL reported a solid beat on estimates and rose 2.8%. ANZ updated the market on Q1 with a similar story. WBC saw off some of the doubters, rising 2.8%. WPL achieved record production and eased 2.4% whilst RIO basking in record profits and dividends from last night barely registered a murmur. FMG rewarded shareholders with a big jump on dividends and more importantly an update on the Iron Bridge cost blowout and executive changes. The stock rising 1.9% on the 147c dividend. Twiggy will trouser $1.6bn fully franked. In other news, the Facebook stoush on news content is providing some distractions and TWE rose 17.5% on hopes that it has got its big problem in little China sorted and the US business back on track. Another rock and roll day so far for Z1P which fought back valiantly from early losses but sagged into the close down 2.3%. S32 reported a 46% drop in H1 profits but increased its buyback program, the stock down 0.4%. CCL cut its dividend but given the current takeover, it would seem irrelevant, the stock flat-lining. CWN swung to a $121m HY loss and lost its General Counsel with the stock firming by 0.4%. NGI one of the biggest losers down 13.5% as profit woes hit dividends. In economic numbers, the jobless rate has fallen to 6.4% with the participation rate falling to 66.1%. 59,000 full-time jobs added. 10-year bond yields slipped back to 1.36%. Asian markets back on stream, China up 0.31% eyeing records. Japan slips 0.92%. Dow Futures down 21 points.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 flat at 6886
  • High 6916 Low 6875 Narrow range. Results
  • Big Bank Basket good times roll up $160.07
  • All Tech Index unchanged
  • Dow Futures down 21 points
  • Gold weaker at AUD$2301
  • 10-year yield slips to 1.36%
  • AUD steady at 77.53c
  • Bitcoin clears to $52,109
  • Asian markets back on stream, China up 0.31% eyeing records. Japan slips 0.92%


STOCKS

  • TWE +17.46% shorts squeezed as brands to be sold off.
  • 3DP +11.69% Bevan is back.
  • EML +4.90% broker upgrades.
  • TAH +5.67% results and wagering division bets.
  • PLS -4.42% VUL -4.58% PLL -5.84% lithium cops a pounding.
  • KCN +8.02% Thai update.
  • LVT -6.90% clarifies big US order.
  • IPH +9.80% investor presentation.
  • DMP +5.57% a supreme performance.
  • FMG +1.93% huge dividend and Iron Bridge update.
  • PDN -11.49% just a boy giving it all away.
  • BGL -21.76% Feasibility study underwhelms.
  • NWH -17.14% Half year results.
  • NEA -5.42% sellers back.
  • JMS +4.35% dividend announcement from Tshipi.
  • WES +0.63% green lights Mt Holland Lithium project.
  • IPO of the Day: NNG +25.00%
  • Speculative Stock of the Day: Credit Intelligence (CI1) +39.18% debt collector for BNPL. Response to ASX query. Well off highs as day traders exit.
  • Biggest Winners: TWE, 3DP, CDA, IPH, TAH, DMP and ORA
  • Biggest Losers: BGL, NWH, PDN, HT1, UMG, BEN and PPT.

TODAY

  • Rio Tinto (RIO)+ 0.02%. Full-year underlying profit US$12.4bn vs consensus US$11.75bn. Revenue US$44.61bn vs consensus US$46.35bn. Underlying EBITDA US$23.90bn vs consensus US$23.58bn. Total dividend of US557cps, a 72% pay-out vs consensus 480c. Guidance: Expect capital expenditure to be around US$7.5bn in each of 2021 and 2022 vs prior around US$7.0bn in each year. In 2021, we expect Pilbara iron ore unit cash costs to increase to US$16.7-17.7/t. This mainly reflects a forecast 12% strengthening of the Australian dollar. Production guidance is unchanged from our Q4 Operations Review released on 19 January 2021.
  • Sonic Healthcare (SHL) +1.16% First half profit $677.6m vs consensus $584.7m. Revenue $4.43bn vs consensus $4.24bn. Adjusted EBITDA $1.31bn vs consensus $1.13bn. Interim dividend 36cps vs year-ago 34cps. Outlook: Expects a strong H2 result based on the revenue growth trend in January and February (to date), however it is not providing earnings guidance for FY2021 due to COVID-19 related unpredictability.
  • SKYCITY Entertainment Group (SKC) +3.03% H1 normalised profit NZ$43.7m vs consensus NZ$32.8m.Normalised Revenue NZ$386.9m. Normalised EBITDA NZ$119.9m vs consensus NZ$101.2m. FY21 Outlook: No change to previous guidance; outlook remains uncertain and subject to change. appoints Julie Amey as CFO, effective 1-May-21.
  • Wesfarmers (WES) +0.63% First half profit $1.41bn ex-items vs FactSet $1.28bn. Revenue $17.77bn vs consensus $17.63bn. EBIT $2.14bn vs consensus $1.99bn. fully-franked dividend of 88c per share. FY Guidance: Sales across the group’s retail businesses have continued to remain strong through January and February, with some impact from government-mandated trading restrictions in Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand. Retail sales growth is expected to moderate from March as the businesses begin to cycle the initial impacts of COVID-19 in the prior year, particularly in Bunnings and Officeworks.
  • Beacon Lighting (BLX) +1.10% First half underlying profit $9.5m vs year-ago $22.2m.Revenue $122.5m vs year-ago $151.3m. Underlying EBITDA $28.7m vs year-ago $47.5m. Fully franked dividend 4.2c, +61.5% vs year ago. Company store comparative sales have continued at an elevated level compared to the start of H2 FY2020.
  • ANZ (ANZ) +2.83% Q1 unaudited cash profit from continuing operations $1.84bn ex-items vs year-ago $1.70bn. Statutory NPAT $1.62bn. Provision charge $150n. Pro-forma level 2 CET1 ratio ~11.8%. At the end of January, 84% of Australian Home Loan deferrals, 88% of Australian Business Loan deferrals and 92% of NZ Home loan deferrals have completed. Outlook: ANZ is well positioned heading into the remainder of 2021 with good momentum in core activities. Whilst the underlying economic outlook has improved, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, significant levels of volatility and uncertainty continue to exist and the group believes its current provision levels are appropriate given this uncertainty.
  • CSL (CSL) +2.78% H1 Net Profit after tax (NPAT) US$1.81bn vs consensus US$1.33bn. Reports H1: Revenue US$5.74bn vs consensus US$5.30bn. EBIT US$2.36bn vs consensus US$1.83bn. Interim dividend of $1.04 per share, +9%. FY Guidance: NPAT US$2,170-2,265m at constant currency, representing growth over FY20 of up to 8%.
  • BSA (BSA) -4.76% H1 Net Profit after tax $1.3m, as previously reported. Reports H1: Revenue $213.2m. Underlying EBITDA $11.4m. Interim dividend 0.5cps, fully franked. FY Guidance (Jun 2021): Revenue $400-412m. Reaffirms 3-year period targets (FY24): Revenue $750m. Minimum EBITDA margins 5%. Dividend payout ratio 60%.
  • Abacus Property Group (ABP) +2.67%H1 Funds From Operations (FFO) $0.0906 vs year-ago $0.1059. Reports H1: Underlying EBIT $77.2m ex vs year-ago $92.8m. Statutory Net Profit after tax $151.8m vs year-ago $82.1m. Net Tangible Assets/security $3.26 vs year-ago $3.32. Distribution per share (DPS) $0.085 vs year-ago $0.0945. FY Guidance (Jun 2021): FY DPS expected to be broadly in line with payout ratio of 85-95% of FFO.
  • Orora (ORA) +5.49% H1 underlying Net Profit after tax $91.1m vs year-ago $76.6. Reports H1: Revenue $1.81bn vs year-ago $1.84bn. EBIT $140.0m ex-items vs year-ago $133.1m. Interim dividend 6.5cps, unfranked. Outlook: At a Group level Orora is forecasting higher earnings in FY21 compared to the prior year. FY21 dividend expected to be towards the top end of target payout range. Current on market buyback expected to be completed in FY21. Will explore adjacent growth opportunities in Aust / NZ.
  • Star Entertainment Group (SGR) +0.29% H1 normalised Net Profit after tax $63.2m vs consensus $36.8m. Reports H1 (normalised): Revenue $733.1m vs consensus $787.4m. EBITDA $225.7m vs consensus $197.8m. No cash dividend as part of FY21 deleveraging plan. Trading Update: Early H2 FY21 trading is exhibiting similar trends to H1 with all 3 properties experiencing positive domestic demand conditions. Performance continues to be impacted by COVID-19 related operating restrictions.
  • IRESS (IRE) +4.59% FY Net Profit after tax (NPAT) $60.9m vs consensus $67.6m. Reports FY: Operating Revenue $546.0m vs consensus $551.6m. EBITDA $127.9m vs consensus $129.9m. Final dividend A$0.30/share (40% franked). FY21 Outlook: FY21 has started well. Segment Profit Guidance $164-168m. Guidance (7 – 10% constant currency Segment Profit & 9 – 10% Return on invested Capital) assumes organic growth and improving returns on growth investments, underpinned by recurring revenues.
  • Oz Minerals (OZI) +0.97% FY underlying Net Profit after tax $212.6m vs consensus $210.4m. Reports FY: Revenue $1.34bn vs consensus $1.32bn. Adjusted EBITDA $606m vs consensus $602.3m. Dividend per share $0.17. Repeats FY21 guidance: Copper production 120-145Kt. Gold production 190-215Koz. C1 cash costs $0.55-0.65/lb. All-in sustaining costs $1.10-1.25/lb. Increases Carapateena 2021-2025 capital expenditure guidance to $1.75bn vs prior $700m.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) -2.39 FY underlying Net Profit after tax (NPAT) US$447m vs year-ago US$1.06bn. Reports FY: Revenue US$3.60bn vs year-ago US$4.87bn. EBITDA US$1.92bn vs year-ago US$3.53bn. NPAT US-$4.03bn vs year-ago US$343.0m. Dividend US$0.12, fully franked. FY21 Guidance: Investment expenditure US$2.90-3.2bn. Exploration to remain similar to 2020 at US$100m. Expected impact on NPAT is US$24m for a $1 movement in the Brent oil price.
  • Perpetual (PPT) -6.21% H1 underlying Net Profit after tax $52.6m vs consensus $47.7m. Reports H1: Operating revenue $280.6m vs consensus $272.7m. Interim Dividend per share $0.84. FY Guidance (Jun 2021): Commenced H2 with positive momentum across our businesses.
  • United Malt Group (UMG) -6.60% Management comments at AGM: The company continues to expect COVID19 conditions to remain throughout FY21 and for 1H21 EBITDA is expected to be within the range of $47-$50m, on a post AASB-16 basis, (which includes the impact of Grantham costs, foreign exchange impact and business transformation costs as outlined above). “While conditions remain uncertain for 2H21, United Malt remains cautiously optimistic for a recovery in malt demand given the typically stronger trading conditions in H2 from the northern hemisphere summer, (with a pre COVID-19 seasonal earnings split of 40% H1 and 60% H2) and the roll out of vaccines in key markets and customers being more resilient in how they access the end consumer”.
  • Mortgage Choice (MOC) –16.77% First half cash profit $5.6m vs year-ago $5.5m.Total commission received $85.6m vs year-ago $81.0m. Net core commission $21m vs year-ago $21.1m. Settlements $6.1bn vs year-ago $5.0bn. Loan book $54.1bn vs year-ago $54.3bn. Funds under advice $1.2bn vs year-ago $1.1bn. Final dividend 4c vs year-ago 3c.
  • APN Property Group (APD) -8.33% H1 operating earnings $6.7m vs year-ago $6.4m. Funds under management $2.9bn as at 31-Dec-20 vs $2.7bn as at 30-Jun-20. NTA/security 42.4c as at 31-Dec-20, +18% vs 30-Jun-20. FY21 guidance:Distribution of 3.20-3.50c/security vs prior guidance of 3.00-3.20/security.
  • South32 (S32) -0.37% H1 underlying earnings US$136m vs year-ago US$131m and consensus US$145.0m. Revenue US$2.94bn vs US$3.01bn. Adjusted EBITDA US$633m vs consensus US$547.0m. Interim dividend of US 1.4cps (fully franked) vs year-ago 1.1cps. Guidance for FY21 Sustaining capital expenditure (excluding EAI and South Africa Energy Coal) remains unchanged at US$335m. Maintains production guidance, while providing nine-month FY21 production guidance for South Africa Energy Coal of 15,000 – 16,400kt.
  • Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) – Full-year ongoing profit $340.3m vs consensus $336.9m.Revenue $4.80bn vs consensus $4.77bn. Ongoing EBIT $550.7m vs consensus $551m. 18cps fully franked final dividend. The company continues to progress the Scheme with CCEP which was originally announced on 26-Oct-20.

ECONOMIC NEWS

  • Australia labour force for January: Employment change: +29,100 vs consensus: +30,000. Unemployment rate: 6.4% vs consensus: 6.5%.

CV19 NEWS

  • South Korea reported 621 more coronavirus cases. NZ makes masks compulsory on Public Transport.
  • Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine stimulated roughly two-thirds lower levels of neutralising antibodies against the South African variant of the coronavirus in a lab study.

Vaccine Tracker: 186m doses in 82 countries. 6.34m a day. In US 57.4m with an average of 1.61m doses a day.

BOND MARKETS

ASIAN NEWS

  • China back online.
  • Indonesia will punish those who refuse the vaccine by stopping or delaying social assistance programs and administrative services as well as impose fines.
  • Chinese cancer screening company roars 190% in IPO debut.

US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES

  • Another storm ripping across USA.
  • Facebook takes nuclear option with the Australian government. The ‘Zuck’ v The ‘Fry’.
  • The Reddit Rebellion leaders in front of Congress to explain. ‘Roaring Kitty’ gets his day in Washington.
  • Roaring Kitty now being sued for securities fraud
  • Rush Limbaugh dies from Lung cancer aged 70.

And finally….

I’ve got a blood test in the morning. How do you revise for that?

A couple are walking down the street when the girl stops in front of a jewellery shop and says, “darling, look at that necklace! It’s so beautiful.”

” No problem, ” replies the bloke as he throws a brick through the window and grabs it.A little later the girl points to a bracelet in the window of another shop.

“Ooh,” she says. ” I’d love that too! “

“No problem,” says her boyfriend and, again, throws a brick through the window.A little later they pass another shop when she sees a diamond ring.

“Oh, honey, isn’t that lovely?” she says.

“Hang about!” he says. ” what do you think I am: made of bricks? “

Clarence

XXXX