SmartGroup's shares soar after 1H result: ASX closes 0.9% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market. After a rise at the open the local bourse managed to maintain momentum to gain 0.9 per cent. Employment management company Smartgroup’s (ASX:SIQ) shares sky rocketed past 20 per cent today after reporting adjusted NPAT climbed 7 per cent higher to $31.4 million during the half year. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) also did well today as did Lendlease (ASX:LLC) – more on these reporting companies later. BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) lost almost 9 per cent on their shares today after they reported a FY2019 net profit after tax (NPAT) of over $1 billion and announced a $700 million expansion of North Star business in Ohio.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 62 points higher to finish at 6,467.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 154 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 17 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 53 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 1 per cent rise tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Citi maintains a Sell for Cochlear (ASX:COH) with a twelve month target price $198.00. They continue to expect that Cochlear will regain the market share lost in FY19 as it rolls out its own MRI compatible implant to all markets throughout FY20. Shares Cochlear (ASX:COH) closed 4 per cent higher at $217.79

Company news

Building supplier GWA (ASX:GWA) saw a transformational year according to their CEO with reported Net Profit After Tax for the period at $95 million compared to $54.3 million for the prior year. Normalised Group Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) from continuing operations up 1.5 per cent to $77.4 million. They're acquisition of Methven increases presence in renovation and replacement segment, taps & showers and select international markets. Full year dividend 18.5 cents per share, fully franked, up 2.8 per cent. Shares in GWA (ASX:GWA) closed 1.8 per cent higher at $3.40.

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) released its FY19 Full Year results today showing their underlying NPAT was up 86 per cent to a company-record $560 million. The company also recorded its highest ever free cash flow of $559 million, while underlying EBITDA was up 80 per cent to a record $1.375 billion – well above initial guidance of $1.1–1.2 billion.

Construction firm Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) report a 41 per cent drop in annual profit after tax from $793 million last year to this year's $467 million for the year ended June 30.These figures come from underperformance of its engineering and services business.

The nib Group (ASX:NHF) saw solid growth across all business segments in the financial year 2019 report with net profit after tax up 11.8 per cent to $149.3 million on the prior corresponding period.

Global logistics solutions group, WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), has acquired a US based container yard and terminal management logistics solutions company called Depot Systems.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 3.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, shedding 0.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was SmartGroup Corp (ASX:SIQ), rising 21.7 per cent to close at $11. Shares in Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL), dropping 8.4 per cent to close at $11.18. Shares in Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) and NIB Holdings (ASX:XXX) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 2.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,509 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.3 per cent to US$89.57
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.6 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.14 up at US$54.81 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 67.86 US cents.