Midday: ASX soft as earnings flood in

Market Reports

The Australian share market has seen a soft start to the new week after Wall Street posted a lacklustre end to last week. As investors absorb the implications of comments from the US Federal Bank's Chair local earnings reports are flooding company announcements. 
 
Shares in packaging business Orora Limited (ASX:ORA) and oil group Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) have risen following results. BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL) has slumped more than 12 per cent despite the steel producer trimming its annual net loss.
 
Across the sectors gains in the energy sector are being offset by losses among the miners, weighed down by a weaker iron ore price. 
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has slipped 6 points to 5,639. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points lower. 
 
Company news
 
Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) has affirmed its expansion plans after posting fall in net profit but a record underlying profit and revenues. Write-downs impacted the oil and gas producer’s net profit dropping 34 per cent to almost $102 million in the 2014 financial year. On an underlying basis Beach Energy’s net profit soared 84 per cent while revenue jumped 51 per cent. A fully-franked final dividend of 2 cents per share has been declared, taking the full year payout to 4 cents per share. Shares in Beach Energy have risen 1.48 per cent to $1.72 at noon. 
 
Shares in Recall Holdings Limited (ASX:REC) have dropped after unveiling its first full year results since having demerged from Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB). The provider of information management solutions saw its net profit slip 3 per cent to $US42 million in the 2014 financial year. Excluding significant items the company’s profit rose due to new customer wins and completed acquisitions. An unfranked dividend of 8 cents per share has been declared and revenue growth approaching the high single digits has been forecast. Shares in Recall Holdings have dropped 5.47 per cent to $4.84 at noon. 
  
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector is energy, gaining 0.8 per cent to 15,146. Shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) have risen 4.11 per cent and trading at $26.60. Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) and Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is materials, dropping 0.9 per cent to 10,170. Shares in BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL) have fallen 12.21 per cent, trading at $5.36. Shares in Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) and Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,280 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9308.