AMP & Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield results weigh: Aus shares lose 0.1% Thursday

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

It was a flat but negative close of trade for the Australian share market today. We opened higher, following Wall Street’s positive leads, with the Dow Jones rising the most overnight (out of the major indices), 0.5 per cent with investors hopeful that the US and Chinese trade authorities will reach an agreement before the early March deadline.

However, throughout the session the local bourse fell into the red with selling mounting in Telcos, Utilities and Financials with the market appearing to be disappointed with AMP’s (ASX:AMP) result, after its shares fell 7.8 per cent, along with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), results, which saw its shares fall 8.4 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4 points lower, or 0.07 cent lower to finish at 6,059, holding onto four-month highs. 

Futures

Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 36 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a gain of 11 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 5 point fall tomorrow morning

Company news 

BHP’s (ASX:BHP) spin-off mining and metals company South32 (ASX:S32) reported a 17 per cent rise in profit after tax profit to US$635 million in the half year to 31 December 2018, compared to the prior corresponding period. Revenue grew 9 per cent to US$3.8 billion, and underlying earnings rose 18 per cent to US$642 million. South32 says results were bolstered by record production at Australia Manganese, coupled with higher commodity prices. Shares in South32 (ASX:S32) closed 3.5 higher at $3.80. Year-on-year its share are 3.1 per cent higher (as at 13 February 2019). 

Australia’s largest total waste management company, Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) announced its profit after tax rose 35 per cent over the half year to 31 December 2018, compared to the same time last year, with its NPAT hitting $60.8 million. Its revenue (from ordinary activities) rose 46 per cent to $1.149 billion with all operating segments seeing a rise in revenue and earnings. It also rose its half-year dividend by 50 per cent, to 1.65 cents per share, 30 per cent franked. Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) shares are trading 57 per cent higher, year-on-year.

Australian salmon farming company Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) reported its 'best-ever first-half results' across all key operational and financial metrics, with NPAT up 22.3 per cent to $31.7 million (for the period ending 31 December 2018). Operating EBIT rose 23 per cent to $49.83 million. Its interim dividend rose 13 per cent over the period, while its franking amount reduced from 100 per cent to 25 per cent. Shares in Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) are trading 44 per cent higher, year-on-year.

Investment management company, Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) reported a 225 per cent rise in its net profit after tax (NPAT) to $173.5 million in the first half of the 2019 financial year, compared to the same time last year. CEO Brett Cairns says the half-year results have been underpinned by strong investment performance amid volatile markets. Its interim dividend rose 66 per cent to 73.8 cents per share. Average funds under management rose 35 per cent over the period to $72.1 billion. Shares in Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) are trading 25 per cent higher, year-on-year.

AMP (ASX:AMP) has reported its FY18 attributable profit fell to $28 million, down from the same time last year’s $848 million profit. AMP Chief Executive Francesco De Ferrari says 2018 has been a challenging year with disclosures from the Hayne Royal Commission having a huge impact on the company. Shares in AMP(ASX:AMP) are 57 per cent lower year-on-year.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was S&P/ASX Energy adding 1.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector was S&P/ASX Telco Services, shedding 1.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Breville Group (ASX:BRG), rising 18 per cent to close at $14.09 (on the back of their results). Shares in Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) and Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW),dropping 8.4 per cent to close at $11.25. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP)and Pact Group Holdings (ASX:PGH) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.4per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,309 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.5 per cent to US$87.22
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is $0.88 higher at US$54.35 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.19 US cents.