PSC Insurance Group (ASX:PSI) acquisition: Aus shares close 0.1% lower

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market opened weaker this morning, dropped in the first hour of trade and rebounded over the afternoon to close 0.1 per cent lower. The Healthcare sector was the best performer today, with Information Technology leading the losses. Oil continued its 5 week slide.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 10 points lower to finish at 7,013.

The US Futures markets are mixed

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 4 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a steady start.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing lift of 3 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 10 point fall tomorrow morning

Broker

Credit Suisse downgraded construction company Boral (ASX:BLD) from a neutral to an underperform, with a 12 month price target of $4.45. The broker expects a further decline in output from Boral’s US coal fired power station this year and questions the company’s ability to increase volumes by 20 to 25 per cent given margin pressure from other energy alternatives. Shares in Boral (ASX:BLD) closed 10.7 per cent lower at $4.60.

Company news

The Federal Court of Australia has approved the proposed scheme of arrangement between QMS Media (ASX:QMS) and its shareholders. Under the scheme, Shelley BidCo Pty Ltd is to acquire 100% of the shares in QMS. QMS expects to lodge a copy of the court orders approving the scheme with the Australian Securities and
Investments Commission tomorrow, at which time the Scheme will become legally
effective. Shares in QMS Media (ASX:QMS) closed flat at $1.23.

PSC Insurance Group (ASX:PSI) have acquired both the business assets of Ultimate Safety Solutions Australia, and 75 per cent of the share capital of Eden Software Pty Ltd. Ultimate Safety Solutions Australia is a Perth based health, safety, environment and quality consultancy business. PSC Insurance says the acquisition is “highly complementary” to its workers compensation business. The acquisition will be funded via cash resources, with $698,000 paid as an upfront payment and an additional 61,000 payable subject to the performance of the business. Shares in PSC Insurance Group (ASX:PSI) last traded at $3.20.

The GPT Group (ASX:GPT) announced a 39.4 per cent decrease in Net Profit After Tax for the 12 months to 31 December 2019.

Shares in electronics retailer JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH) rallied today on news of a 6.6 per cent increase in Net Profit After Tax compared to the prior corresponding period.

Construction material company Boral (ASX:BLD) has downgraded its earnings by $24.4 million US dollars following an investigation into financial irregularities in its North American windows business.

Horizon Oil (ASX:HZN) denies that it had actual knowledge of wrongdoing related to an alleged bribery scandal. A story in the Australian Financial Review aroused suspicion over a $15.4 million payment in Papua New Guinea nine years ago to an unknown shell company.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Healthcare adding 0.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology, shedding 1.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was JB Hi Fi (ASX:JBH), rising 11.5 per cent to close at $44.71. Shares in Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) and Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Boral (ASX:BLD) following its earnings downgrade. It dropped 10.7 per cent to close at $4.60 Shares in Service Stream (ASX:SSM) and Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,572 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.5 per cent to US$83.59. Its futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is 63 cents lower at US$50.32 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.98 US cents.