Following positive leads from US markets, the Australian share market has rallied higher and is 0.54 per cent stronger at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 29 points up at 5,464 On the futures market the SPI is 30 points higher.
G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM)
has reported a 59 per cent jump in revenue to $187.2 million for the six months to June 30. Profit after tax was up 48 per cent to $16.3 million for the half year. Australia’s largest listed childcare operator says the impressive financial performance is a result of its aggressive growth strategy. In the first six months of 2014, G8 has purchased 115 new child care centres bringing the total under ownership to 349 in Australia and 18 in Singapore. The strong financial performance has enabled a 29 per cent increase in the dividend to 18 cents fully franked. Shares in G8 Education are trading 4.29 per cent up at $4.99.
Shares in McAleese Limited (ASX:MCS)
have enjoyed a revival today after the transport company announced the sale of one of its businesses and said it expects earnings to come in at the upper end of guidance. McAleese has made a binding share sale agreement worth $65 million in cash to divest Liquip, a business which specialises in products and solutions for the transfer of bulk fluid and chemicals. The $45 million profit on the sale will be booked in the 2015 financial year. McAleese also said its 2014 earnings were about 20 per cent above initial expectations and revenue was expected in the $82 million to $85 million guidance range. The company had lost key transport contracts with major customers including BP and Shell shortly after fatal accident involving one of its Cootes fuel tankers at Mona Vale in Sydney. McAleese says income had almost doubled in the last quarter as the business stabilises and improvement initiatives are implemented. Shares in McAleese have jumped 27.66 per cent and are trading at $0.60.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 1.2 per cent to 1,097. Shares in BWP Trust have risen 2.06 per cent and are trading at $2.48. Shares in Dexus Property and Cromwell Group are also stronger.
All sectors are higher but the one with the least gains is energy, up 0.25 per cent to 14,221. Shares in Whitehaven Coal have fallen 1.28 per cent, trading at $1.73. Shares in Beach Energy and Worley Parsons are also lower.
Vista Group International Limited (ASX:VGI)
) started trading today. The cinema software developer floated with an issue price of $2.35, opened at $2.35 and is currently trading at $2.30.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,308 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 92.79 cents. .