Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) tops best performers list: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market opened lower in spite of positive leads from Wall Street and is now tracking flat noon. Energy, Financials, Materials and Healthcare are the only sectors making ground this morning.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 2 points down at 6,695. On the futures market the SPI is eyeing a lift of 6 points or 0.1 per cent.

Broker moves and Company news

Ord Minnett has upgraded Coca-cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) from a hold to an accumulate, with a 12-month price target of $11.00. The broker, which whitelabels research by JP Morgan on the stock notes that the Australian beverages division is poised to return to growth because of an increase in volumes and a positive mix on channel and product. The broker says that while the Indonesian consumer segment is slowing the beverages industry is still performing well. Shares in Coca-cola Amatil (ASX:CCL) are trading 2.1 per cent higher at $10.30.

Morgan Stanley has downgraded Pendal Group (ASX:PDL), noting the stock is overweight and projecting a reduced 12-month price target of $8.80. The broker notes that Pendal Group has endured the largest obstacles to flows in the European Union and United Kingdom from Brexit uncertainty but does suggest that with a resolution now more likely, the outlook could substantially improve. Despite the downgrade Pendal Group topped the ASX best performers list this morning following the release of its results for its financial year which ended 30 September 2019. Net profit after tax was down 23.5 per cent to approximately $154.5 million. Total revenue was down 12.6 per cent to $514.1 million. The result was characterised by significantly lower performance fees, which were down 89 per cent from $54.5 million in the previous corresponding period to $5.9 million. Base management fees declined a modest 4 per cent as funds under management remained broadly steady. A final dividend of 25 cents per share has been declared, bringing the total full year dividends to 45 cents per share. Shares in Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) are trading 9 per cent higher at $8.17.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, adding 0.6 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information technology, shedding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) rising 9 per cent to $8.17, followed by shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) following news this morning that they have downgraded their 2020 financial year outlook. The stock dropped 8.4 per cent to $3.12. This is followed by shares in Appen (ASX:APX) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRI).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is higher trading at US$1,487 an ounce.
Iron ore price is flat at US$83.30.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.1 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.91 US cents.