BHP slight miss on analysts’ expectations: Aus shares close 0.9% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market slipped 1 per cent today, with most sectors seeing selling amid some savory company results with Energy, Materials, and Financials falling the most, taking the ASX200 back to where it was on Tuesday. At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 61 points lower, or 1 per cent lower, to finish at 6,284.

So far this reporting season, we have seen 47 sets of results in line with expectations, 34 beats of analysts forecasts and 28 misses.

And on the back of recent result, we have seen Ansell (ASX:ANN) upgraded to a buy by Morgans, while Ord Minnett have the stock as ‘accumulate’.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 17 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 1 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 4 points.w
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 64 point fall tomorrow.

Value of trades

$5.8 billion on volume of 696 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Westpac (ASX:WBC) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA).

Company news

Healthscope (ASX:HSO) which operates private hospitals, medical centres and international pathology services reported earnings (EBITDA) at the top end of its revised guidance reflecting an increase in contributions from hospitals and bolstered results from its major expansion. Meantime its saw a 19 per cent slide in its net profit attributable to shareholders to $89.4 million in the 2018 financial year, compared to the same time last year. It also proposes to establish a new $1 billion unlisted property trust, holding the majority of Healthscope’s freehold hospital property assets, and then lease them back to the company. Healthscope will own a majority stake in the new hospital property trust and co-owners can buy up to 49 per cent. Shares in Healthscope (ASX:HSO) closed 2.8 per cent higher at $2.23.

Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) today announced net profit after tax attributable to shareholders rose 26 per cent in the 2018 finanical year. While its total group sales firmed 4.2 per cent higher on the prior corresponding period to $2.57 billion.

Mining giant BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) saw its net profit after tax drop 37 per cent to US$3.7 billion, while its revenue rose 20 per cent to US$45.8 billion and its earnings for the year ending 30 June 2018 missed UBS’ estimates with EBITDA lower than expected in its copper division.

Packaging company Amcor (ASX:AMC) saw its full-year net profit rise 21.3 per cent to US$724 million. Revenue rose 2.4 per cent to US$9.3 billion. Citi Group has marked Amcor down as a ‘neutral’ stock.

Leasing and interest-free finance company, Flexigroup (ASX:FXL) reported results at the higher end of their guidance, with a net loss of $10.3 million for the 2018 financial year and forecast FY19 cash NPAT growth of 8-13 per cent. Its customers grew 5 per cent in the period to above 1 million, while its retail partners rose by 8 per cent.

Oil and gas company Oil Search (ASX:OSH) saw its first-half 2018 profits slide about 39 per cent to US$79 million amid the devastating PNG earthquake in February which took a toll on production and killed over 100 people.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Healthcare, adding 0.4 per cent, while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 1.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL), rising 8.2 per cent to close at $9.86. Shares in Vocus Group (ASX:VOC) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ausdrill (ASX:ASL), dropping 4.4 per cent to close at $1.86. Shares in Greencross (ASX:GXL) and REA Group (ASX:REA) followed lower.

Asian markets

Higher. Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,196 an ounce.
The iron ore price gained 0.3 per cent to $67.81 and its futures are pointing to a fall of 1.9 per cent
Light crude is $0.23 up at US$65.44 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.58 US cents.

Cryptocurrencies

Some of the most traded cryptocurrencies are trading lower. Bitcoin has fallen 2 per cent to US$6,353, Ethereum has fallen 6.9 per cent to US$279 and EOS has fallen about 8.3 per cent to US$4.80, in the last 24 hours.