New Energy Solar (ASX:NEW) considers expansion of asset sale: Aus shares 0.3% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market opened slightly lower this morning. It jumped in the first twenty minutes of trade and has been tracking sideways into the mid-session. Shares in Nib Holdings (ASX:NHF) were hit hard this morning after the company downgraded its underlying operating profit by $30 million for the 2020 financial year. Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) snagged the best performer title for the morning after releasing its quarterly activities report.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 21 points up, or 0.3 per cent higher at 7,086. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points higher.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse has upgraded Amcor (ASX:AMC) to an outperform, raising its 12-month target price to $16.25. The broker suspects falling raw materials prices could stimulate some new volume and underpin profit. Furthermore, the company seems well placed to achieve its commitment to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. Shares in Amcor (ASX:AMC) are trading 1.4 per cent higher at $15.77.

Company news

New Energy Solar (ASX:NEW) has expanded the asset sale which was announced last November. During the asset sale process it was asked to consider the sale of up to a 50% interest in its US and/or Australian portfolio holding companies. The company says “[s]uch a transaction would result in NEW having an institutional investment partner for future investments. Given the expanded scope of the process, NEW now expects that any sale transaction would not be formalised before the end of the second quarter of 2020.” The company is taking additional time to explore its options and at this point, there is no guarantee that the process will result in a larger portfolio transaction. Shares in New Energy Solar (ASX:NEW) are trading 4.7 per cent lower at $1.23

Sydney Airport Traffic (ASX:SYD) grew 0.6 per cent in December compared to the same month the previous year. Over the year airport traffic was up 0.1 per cent. Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert says “the fact we delivered a solid traffic performance across the calendar year when trading conditions have been at their toughest in more than a decade speaks to the diversity and resilience of the business. When you look at the different nationalities coming through the airport, the growth we’ve had in a number of key markets like the US and India has helped offset the slowdown from places like the UK.” Shares in Sydney Airport Traffic (ASX:SYD) are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $9.02.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, adding 1.3 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, shedding 0.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) rising 6.2 per cent to $1.50, followed by shares in Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) and Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nib Holdings (ASX:NHF), dropping 12.8 per cent to $5.71, followed by shares in Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) and Medibank Private (ASX:MPL).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,558 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.1 per cent higher at US$97.03.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.79 US cents.