Afterpay expands into US, Speedcast shares soar: Aus shares close 0.94% lower

Market Reports

by Jessica Amir

The Australian share market copped some selling today across all sectors, despite positive leads from Wall Street at the open on the back of US President Donald Trump saying he wouldn’t add more tariffs on imports from China in March.

The local bourse fell at the open, failing to lift its head above water throughout the session, with the most selling in the smaller tech sector, which lost 2.8 per cent after Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) fell over 11 per cent, taking the stock back to where it traded on 20 February 2019. 

Selling in Consumer Discretionary (with loss of 2.3 per cent) and Telcos (with a loss of 1 per cent) followed, while Materials also saw selling despite the copper price hitting a new 8 month high

While some energy stocks slipped on the back of the oil price falling 3 per cent overnight, on Trump telling OPEC that prices are too high

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 58 points lower, or 0.9 per cent lower to finish at 6,128.


Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 95 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 10 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 44 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 51 point tomorrow morning

Company news 

Communications satellite technology company, Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) announced its attributable profit fell 68 per cent in the year ending 31 December 2018 to US$1.9 million, while underlying NPATA grew 5 per cent to US$48 million. Meantime its revenue from ordinary activities grew 21 per cent to US$623. Despite a challenging year, it signed two of its biggest contracts ever, and completed its strategic Globecomm acquisition and doubled its revenue in the Government division. Shares in Speedcast International (ASX:SDA) closed 13.1 per cent higher at $3.79.

Buy now pay later giant, Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT) announced its underlying sales grew 147 per cent to $2.3 billion in the six months to 31 December 2018 and its pro-former earnings EBITDA (excluding significant items) grew by 19 per cent to $17 million in the 2019 half year. However, the company dived deeper in the red in terms of its financial loss, on the back of establishing its international business. Its active US customers are set to reach 1 million active customers and 2,000 active merchants by the end of March, after having been in the US for less than 11 months. Its US customer base grew by 40 per cent in the 8 weeks (after the 2018 Christmas/New Year rush). Comparatively, in Australia, it had over 3.1 million active customers at end of December, up 118 per cent on pcp, and it has about 3.5 million customers today. Its average customers are 33 years of age. Afterpay says Millennials make up 27 per cent of the global population and by 2020 the generation will have the highest spending power at nearly $15 trillion. Yesterday its shares gained 19 per cent hitting $20.50, and today it lost 11.5 per cent closing at $18.15.

Caltex (ASX:CTX) announced its NPAT hit $558 million, a 12 per cent fall on the prior 12 months to 31 December on a replacement basis. Caltex also announced an off-market buy-back of $260 million, expected to complete in 2Q 2019.

Aged care provider Estia Health (ASX:EHE) revised its financial year EBITDA 2019 guidance to a low to mid-single digit percentage rise on FY18. Its NPAT for the half year to 31 December 2018, rose 4.1 per cent to $21.1 million. Revenue grew 6.6 per cent to $289.7 million on the prior corresponding period. EBITDA is also rose, 3.1 per cent to $46.9 million

Building products company CSR (ASX:CSR) will commence a $100 million on-market share buy-back of its ordinary shares, returning surplus capital expected to be generated by the company.

Best and worst performers of the day

The sector with the least losses, Utilites losing 0.02 per cent while the worst performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, shedding 2.3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Speedcast (ASX:SDA), rising 13.1 per cent to close at $3.79. Shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and Automative Holdings Group (ASX:AHG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT), dropping 11.5 per cent to close at $18.15. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) and Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.5 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,330 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 2.1 per cent to $84.84.
Light crude is trading $1.83 lower at US$55.43
One Australian dollar is buying 71.58 US cents.

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.