Worley doubles dividend: Aus shares 2.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market lost ground at the open following cautious leads from the US. It floated lower throughout the first half of the session and is tracking 2.1 per cent lower at noon. Every sector is down, with Consumer Discretionary, Energy and Information Technology losing over 3 per cent this morning.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 147 points lower at 6,992. On the futures market the SPI is 145 points lower.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse has upgraded Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) from a neutral to an outperform, with a 12-month price target of 37 cents. First half results for the company were in line with expectations and the broker suspects the market may be overreacting to pricing concerns. Shares in Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) are trading 2.9 per cent lower at 34 cents at noon.

Company news

Worley (ASX:WOR) has doubled its interim dividend following strong results for the half year. Aggregated revenue lifted 134 per cent to $5,998 million compared to the prior corresponding period. Underlying EBITA increased 126 per cent to $366 million. Underlying net profit after tax and amortisation increased 110 per cent to $216 million. Construction and fabrication revenue was an absolute standout. It more than quadrupled, reaching over $1.5 billion. Shares in Worley (ASX:WOR) are trading nearly 1 per cent higher at $14.22 at noon.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, still losing 1.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 3.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), rising 4.8 per cent to $15.18, followed by shares in Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Webjet (ASX:WEB),dropping 7.3 per cent to $12.53, followed by shares in Pinnacle Investment Management Group (ASX:PNI) and Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,662 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.3 per cent to US$92.25.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 66.09 US cents.