ASX 200 flip flopped today closing up 5 points at 7352 (0.1%). Banks starting to find support after a drubbing last week, BEN results helped with the Big Bank Basket up to $180.28(1.1%). CBA racing back up 1.3% and NAB up 1.5%. Other financials doing well, MQG up 0.9% and ASX up 0.8%. Insurers mixed, QBE ran hard up 3.7% on broker upgrades. PTM also doing well up 3.1% as Kerr Neilson calls for Andrew Clifford to go. Industrials were flat, platform stocks slipped slightly, REA down 0.6% and SEK down 1.9%. Tech was mixed, XRO down 1.1%. The All–Tech Index down 0.7%. REITs dropped back as CHC fell 1.9% on results. GMG down 0.4% and SCG off 1.0%. Staples slightly higher, ALL up 0.9% and COL up 0.3%. Healthcare eased again, SHL down 2.0% and FPH off 1.1%. CSL unchanged. In resources, iron ore stocks holding up before the numbers, BHP up 1.0% and FMG up 1.4%. Lithium stocks were pummelled again as PLS moved to a different system than the BMX auction. It fell 5.4% with AKE down 3.4% and IGO off 2.2%. Gold miners were mixed, NCM up 0.1% and NST down 1.5%. Oil and gas stocks down again, WDS down 1.0% and STO off 1.2%. Coal eased. In corporate results, NHF tumbled 11.6% on lack of guidance, BSL downgraded the outlook falling 10.0%, A2M disappointed on China sales, souring 8.6%. In good result reactions, ACL rallied 12.5% with OML up 4.1% and KLS up 3.4% on a new bus contract in Sydney. On the economic front, thin on the ground today. Asian markets better, China up 1.0%, HK up 0.5% and Japan up 0.4%. 10-year yields steady at 3.80%. Dow futures down 14 points and Nasdaq futures down one point.
- Winners: ACL, ING, WBT, TLG, PRN, RIC, GQG.
- Losers: NHF, BSL, A2M, STX, GRR, AGY, LLL
- Positive sectors: Banks. Iron ore. Gaming.
- Negative sectors: Oil and gas. Healthcare. Lithium. REITs.
- High 7358 Low 7331
- Big Bank Basket: Up to $180.28 up 1.1%
- All-Tech index: Down 0.7%
- Gold up to $2674
- Bitcoin: Rises to US$24347
- Aussie Dollar: Slightly higher at 68.94c
- 10-Year Yield: Steady at 3.80%.
- Asian markets: China up 1.0%, HK up 0.5% and Japan up 0.4%
- US Futures: Dow down 14 Nasdaq down 1. US Markets closed tonight.
- ACL +12.50% results cheer.
- ING +11.68% no crying foul here.
- WBT +7.89% going from strength to strength.
- TLG +7.78% another kick higher.
- OML +4.05% results.
- QBE +3.68% broker upgrades.
- KLS +3.4% wins new bus contract in SW Sydney.
- PRN +7.58% secures contract extension at Finniston.
- GQG +4.71% positive broker reaction.
- LRS +13.04% Sigma Lithium move helping.
- PLL -13.95% lithium stocks under pressure.
- NHF -11.59% no guidance hurts.
- BSL -9.99% downgrades outlook.
- A2M -8.59% China lockdowns weigh.
- PLS -5.41% spot sale linked to hydroxide pricing.
- INR -5.00% lithium down.
- CHC -6.06% results fail to inspire.
- LLL -6.09% lithium stocks under pressure on CATL news.
- SPECULATIVE STOCK OF THE DAY: Bluglass (BLG) +40.74% secures first customer orders.
- Above Average Volumes (this can be up or down): OKR, ADA, TMR, WNR, VGL, CHK, CAT
- Nuix (NXL) – Annualised contract value climbed 3.4% to $170.2m for the six months to December 31. Revenue $87.64 v $84.02m Pre tax profit $0.33m. No dividend. Jeff Bleich has stepped down as chairman. Net Cash $37.1m. Customer churn. No guidance given. Question marks over some government contracts remain with ASIC potentially set to dump NXL. Decision late next month. 85% of revenue comes from overseas.
- Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) – Cash earnings after tax climbed 22.9% to $294.7m on a return on equity of 8.79 per cent.Net Interest Margin gained 19bps to 1.88% over the six months to December 31. Interim dividend 29c v 27c up 9%. BEN is seeing increasing competition for market share primarily amongst the big four banks, using incentives in the form of cash back offers for housing loans. Portfolios remain well positioned, underpinned by strong sources of funding and capital levels. The bank says its strategy to target and retain younger customers is paying off. Average age has fallen from 46 to 43 in a decade. BEN made a small top up in collective provisions to $232.3m. Deposits make up 70% of funding.
- GPT Group (GPT) – Dividend of 12.3c takes FY dividend to 25c on earnings of 32.4c. The group guided for 2023 dividends flat at 25 cents per security on earnings of 31.3c. 598c NTA down 1.8%. Assets under management $32.4bn. Portfolio occupancy 99.4%. Financial result $469.3m statutory NPAT. Payout ratio 96% up from 95.1%. Interest rate hedge portfolio shows 61% hedged over next three years at 2.9%.
- Ampol Ltd (ALD) full-year 2022 RCOP EBIT is up 124% to $1.316.5bn, with record-high refining margins and strong convenience retail earnings. The company declared a final ordinary dividend of 105c, and a special dividend of 50c, taking the total dividends for 2022 to 275c, or $655m, with further capital management initiatives to be considered by the Board in 2023.
- Bluescope Steel Ltd (BSL) 1H23 NPAT was $599m, down $1.045bn to pcp. Underlying EBIT remained robust at $851m due to the strength of the downstream businesses and operations, partly offsetting the impact of softening steel spreads. The company’s strong balance sheet, operating cash flow of $751m, and approval of a fully franked interim dividend of 25cps demonstrate the company’s ability to deliver returns to shareholders and invest in long-term growth.
- Chorus Ltd (CNU) released its financial results for 1H23 with an increase in EBITDA of $10m to $342m from pcp. Although NPAT fell $33m to $9m, Chorus has increased its EBITDA guidance for FY23 to $675m to $690m, with an unimputed interim dividend of 17c to be paid in April 2023. Overall, the company’s financial performance is positive, and its increased guidance for FY23 EBITDA is an indication of the company’s expected growth.
- EVT Ltd (EVT) has reported 1H23 results with record revenue for Thredbo and Hotels. Normalised revenue was $606.8m, up 38.5% on pcp, only 8.3% below pre-COVID levels, indicating a significant recovery for the company. Normalised EBITDA and profit after tax were also up on the prior comparable half year, with strong growth in the hotel and resort division, all brands demonstrating a strong recovery.
- Iress Ltd (IRE) reports results for the full year 2022. Revenue is up 4.5% in constant currency, and segment profit consistent with the prior year at $166.8m. NPAT in constant currency was $54.0m, which was inside the revised guidance range, and underlying NPAT was $72.3m, up 6.1%. The company is transitioning to a cloud-based architecture, unlocking operating leverage and accelerating its ability to deploy software in a more scalable and nimble way. Iress appears poised for continued growth in the future.
- Adairs (ADH) – Revenue was $324.2m up 34.1% and a net profit of $21.8m, a 23.9% increase for its first half 2023 financial year results. Interim dividend 8c. FY23 Guidance downgraded, Group Sales $625-665m, unchanged. Group EBIT $70-80m vs A$75-85m. Capital investment $12-15m unchanged.
- Charter Hall Group (CHC) has announced its 1H23 results. The company’s financial highlights include operating earnings of $239.9m, $226.5m of statutory profit after tax, and distributions of 20.8c. In terms of operating highlights, the group managed $88bn of FUM with $73bn of property FUM, and $7.9bn of gross transactions. The portfolio value increased by $126m, generating a 10.4% return. The company’s 10.4% return on its property investment portfolio demonstrates its continued success in diversifying its portfolio and maintaining strong occupancy rates. With its $6.5bn in available liquidity, significant opportunities in its sale and leaseback pipeline, and its $15.4bn development pipeline, the company is well placed to continue its growth trajectory.
- Ooh!Media Ltd (OML) financial results show a significant increase in profitability compared to pcp. Revenue is up 18% to $592.6m, with a 64% increase in adjusted underlying EBITDA to $127.1m. Adjusted NPAT was $56.2m, up 343% on pcp. The company’s focus on effective cost management and strong operating leverage contributed to these positive results. As the largest player in out-of-home advertising in Australia and New Zealand,OML remains uniquely positioned to capitalise on the continued structural growth of the industry.
- Northern Star Resources Ltd (NST) Releases 1H23 results. NST sold 773koz gold and is on track to meet its FY23 guidance. The company reported cash earnings of $467m, up 3% YoY, and a net cash balance of $145m. Underlying EBITDA of $633m fell 12% YoY due to cost challenges, which offset higher gold prices. NST declare a record interim fully franked dividend of 11c, up 10% YoY. The company’s revenue of $1.949bn was up 5% from pcp, primarily due to higher average gold prices realised, but cost of sales were higher due to inflationary pressures across the mining industry. Northern Star’s strong financial position is expected to be maintained.
- Pilbara Minerals (PLS) – now it has auctioned off lithium hydroxide via an over-the-counter commercial model rather than the BMX auction system it has been using.
ECONOMIC & OTHER NEWS
- BlackRock, will aggressively cut fees on two of its Australian-listed ETFs in a bid for a greater share of a market it expects to grow threefold in the next five years. BlackRock Australia will this week unveil a new rate card of 0.05% a year for its iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ), representing a price cut of 44%. It will also cut fees on its iShares Core Composite Bond ETF (IAF) by a third to 0.10%.
- Kelsian Group (KLS) awarded new Sydney bus service contract. The company will operate the newly created Region 2 in SW Sydney, worth more than $500m of contracted revenue over the term to June 2031.
- Goldman Sachs strategists expect the selloff in Chinese stocks since late January to reverse. It sees potential for the MSCI China Index to reach 85 points by the end of 2023, an increase of about 24% from current levels.
- Chinese lenders followed the central bank by keeping their benchmark lending rates unchanged Monday.
- Chinese companies are sealing the most LNG purchase agreements of any nation and increasingly becoming the sector’s key import intermediary. Companies based in China account for roughly 15 per cent of all contracts that will begin delivering LNG supply through 2027.
- In China, CATL is moving to discount EV batteries. This looks like an attempt to tie major car companies into CATL batteries. It plans to introduce a Li rebate plan to reduce battery costs and increase its market share at specific auto OEMs. Over the next 3 years, a portion of Li-ion batteries will be priced as if Li chemical’s price is RMB200k/t (compared with current spot price of battery-grade Li carbonate at RMG430k/t, quoted by SMM). In turn, these auto OEMs will guarantee that 80% of their battery procurement needs will be met by CATL.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- European markets set to open higher.
- Meta to launch subscription service for Facebook and Instagram.
- President’s Day – US markets closed.
- Poland calls for NATO security guarantees for postwar Ukraine.
- National Geographic photo of the year by Karthik Subramaniam of Bald Eagles competing for a perch.
An elderly man rear ends a guy driving an expensive sports car.
Enraged, the guy hops out of his car and confronts the old man. “Look
what you did to my car” he yells.“you’re gonna give me $10,000 right
now or I’m gonna beat you to a bloody pulp!”
“Oh my” says the old man, I don’t have that kind of money. Let me call
my son, he trains dolphins and he’ll know what to do.
Dolphins, the other driver huffs, while rolling his eyes. The old man
pulls out his phone, dials his son and just as the son answers, the
irate man snatches the phone away from the old man.
So, YOU’RE a dolphin trainer, huh? Well, your old man here just rear
ended my car and I need ten grand right now or I’m gonna beat you AND
your old man to a bloody pulp.
I’ll be there in 10 minutes, says the voice calmly on the other end.
Exactly ten minutes later a jeep pulls up and a guy hops out and
proceeds to pulverize the bully, leaving him in a bloody heap on the
side of the road.
When he’s finished, he walks over to his father and says: “for the
LAST TIME dad…. I train SEALS…. NAVY SEALS…. NOT dolphins”