ASX 200 finished up 22 points to 7299 (0.3%) down around 0.5% for the week. A busy week with results dominating. Industrials and banks better with the Big Bank Basket slightly higher at $178.53 (0.8%). Insurers rose, and fund managers fell, MFG down 2.4% and PTM off 3.4%. MPL kicked 2.1% higher on broker comments. Tech better as WTC rose 4.1% with the All–Tech Index higher by 1.6% and XRO up 1.6%. Platform stocks also better REA up 2.1% and CAR up 1.0%, REITS firmed with GMG up 1.0% and MGR up 2.3%. Healthcare stocks flat, CSL modestly higher and SHL down 0.4%. Good numbers for industrial stocks saw BXB lead the charge up 7.5%, COL up 1.0% and ALL up 2.8%. Utilities were again higher as ORG rose 1.0% and APA up 0.8%. Resources mixed, BHP weighing index down 1.6% with RIO suffering a 3.6% fall, FMG down 1.7%. Gold miners under pressure in bullion pricing, NCM down 2.5% and EVN off 2.9%. Lithium stocks mixed with PLS up 1.1% on a maiden dividend and results, IGO up 1.1% with AKE also doing well up 3.7%. Oil and gas stocks better, WDS up 0.7% and STO gaining 1.2%. Coal stocks mixed. In corporate news, SGR returned to trade up 8.6% after raising nearly $600m in a placement. SGH has backed a $150m takeover offer. EML tumbled another 9.5% on a new letter from the Irish Central Bank. In results, BXB lifted guidance, SQ2 +5.9% on a result rethink after early losses, LNK losses widened, and it rose 0.5%. JIN boosted its dividend, and MIN fell 0.1% on disappointing mining services results. Nothing on the economic front as we await US PCE tonight. Asian market mixed. 10-year yields softer to 3.84%. Dow futures down 41 points and Nasdaq futures down 31 points.
- Winners: HLI, BOE, SGR, STX, BGA, BXB, SWM, SQ2, TLG
- Losers: FCL, OBL, MGH, ARU, 29M, RRL, DVP, PPT
- Positive sectors: Oil and gas. REITs. Healthcare. Tech. Banks. Industrials.
- Negative sectors: Iron ore. Gold miners.
- High 7316 Low 7279
- Big Bank Basket: better at $178.53 (0.8%)
- All-Tech index: Up 1.6%
- Gold steady at $2677
- Bitcoin: Lower at US$23975
- Aussie Dollar: Lower at 68.12c
- 10-Year Yield: Steady at 3.84%.
- Asian markets: Japan up 1.1% after birthday party yesterday. China down 1.0% and HK tumbling 1.4%
- US Futures: Dow down 41 Nasdaq down 31.
- HLI +17.14% results.
- BXB +7.46% pallets flying.
- STX +8.06% oil price strength.
- SGR +8.57% International Rescue saves the day for now.
- TLG +5.63% shakes off indigestion from placement.
- SQ2 +5.86% results cheer. BNPL in US a focus.
- APE +4.77% broker upgrades.
- SWM +6.25% station of the stars.
- PDN +4.23% better results.
- AVH +20.15% great run mirrors PNV.
- IVZ +7.69% drilling update.
- MVP +14.23% just whistle for presentation.
- EML -9.48% CBI sends hate mail.
- RMC -9.87% figures disappoint.
- FCL -22.34% results, illiquid.
- 29M -5.46% disappointing update.
- PTM -3.43% brokers cool again.
- PNV -2.63% switching to AVH?
- OBL -18.73% results presentation and downgrades.
- MGH -9.03% results disappoint.
- ARU -7.35% slipping back a little.
- Speculative Stock of the Day: On the downside today as no winners on volume. Cogstate (CGS) -27.38% on a trading update. Patience required.
- Star Entertainment Group (SGR) has raised $595m in a placement and institutional entitlement offer at $1.20c, with a take-up rate of approximately 94%.
- Block Inc (SQ2) reported Q4 gross profit of $1.66bn, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.63bn, due to strong growth in its Cash App business. The company also announced a more “moderated” approach to spending in 2023, projecting Q1 operating expenses of $1.43bn.
- Summerset Group (SNZ) – Reported a 50.5% drop in net profit for full-year. Declared a final dividend of NZD 11.6c. The company reported a development margin of 29.7%, up from 23.1% for the same period last year, but expects margins to return to the 20-25% range over the medium term.
- Brambles (BXB) – Upgraded its full-year guidance, expecting revenue growth between 12-14%, underlying profit growth between 15-18%. Brambles declared an interim dividend of US12.25c, up 14%, and recorded a 9% increase in net profit and 7% increase in revenue for continuing operations in H1 2022.
- Austal (ASB) Reported a $7.3m net loss in H1 2023 but maintained its full-year 2023 EBIT guidance of $58m. Austal declared an interim dividend of 4c
- Universal Store (UNI) reported a 31.7% increase in statutory net profit. The company’s interim dividend was 14 cps. Underlying earnings before tax and interest was $28.5m, up 43.2%. CEO Alice Barbery attributed the results to lifting COVID-19 restrictions and an increase in foot traffic as customers plan for events like festivals and concerts.
- Mineral Resources (MIN) reported a surge in profit in H1 driven by record earnings from lithium. The company’s statutory net profit after tax rose to $390m, and underlying EBITDA surged 503%. MIN declared an interim dividend of $1.20c, fully franked.
- Jumbo Interactive (JIN) reported an 18.1% increase in revenue to $62.4m for Q2 2023. The company’s net profit after tax grew 4.7% to $17.2m, and underlying EBITDA rose 7.4%. Declared an interim dividend of 23c, a 4.5% increase YoY.
- Ventia Services Group Ltd (VNT) reported financial results for FY22, including a 22.4% increase in pro forma NPATA to $179.6m, pro forma revenue of $5,167.5m, up 13.4%, and pro forma EBITDA of $419.8m, up 10.5%. The company expects NPATA growth of 7-10% for FY23.
- Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) Increased its share buy-back program to $1bn due to strong cashflow, doubling its prior program of $500m.
- Prospa Group (PGL) has reported a statutory loss of $5.5m for the first half of the year. The expected loss provisioning has increased to 9.4% of gross loans, up from 7.2%. However, the company’s revenue for the period rose by 72.4% to $125.3m.
- Link Group (LNK) – Reported a net loss of $410.1m, with revenue down 0.2% to $592.2m. The CEO, Vivek Bhatia, cited inflationary pressures as a challenge for the company, but operating expenses were down 2.3% during 1H FY23. The dividend was declared at 4.5c.
- Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd (CUV) half-year financial report reveals significant increases in revenues, profits, and net assets. The company’s revenues rose by 19% to 29.36m, and its NPAT is up 94% to 11.4m. The net assets also grew by 11% compared to pcp.
ECONOMIC & OTHER NEWS
- Westpac’s chief economist has raised the forecast for RBA’s terminal rate to 4.1% from 3.85%, predicting further rate hikes in March and April, with a peak in May 2023.
- Bank of Japan Governor nominee Kazuo Ueda said the central bank will need to consider normalising policy if the outlook for prices improves, while backing a continuation of stimulus for now. Data for January released earlier Friday showed that core inflation has reached 4.2%, more than double the BOJ’s price target.
- China called for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine in a 12-point proposal for ending the war in a plan that is unlikely to win support from anyone.
- Thai Airways operating loss narrowed 84% last year after Thailand eased pandemic-related border restrictions and tourists started to come back to the popular Southeast Asia holiday destination. The airline also said it plans to increase flight frequencies and add new routes, as well as expand its fleet. No wonder Boeing and Airbus are busy.
US AND EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- US private equity billionaire Thomas H Lee dies aged 78.
- US Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index due in US. Last month, The PCE price index increased 0.1%. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.3%. Real DPI increased 0.2% in December and Real PCE decreased 0.3%; goods decreased 0.9% and services were unchanged.
- US Personal income is expected to have risen 1.2% last month, according to Dow Jones consensus estimates. That’s up from an increase of 0.2% the prior month. Consumer spending is forecasted to rise 1.4% in January, up from a decline of 0.2% the prior month.
- Europe’s energy war with Russia is not over, warns IEA chief.