Reporting season rolls in: Aus shares 1.2% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

The Australian share market lifted at the open as financial year reports roll in and is now tracking 1.2 per cent higher at noon. Banks and REITs have lifted while miners are lacking, but all sectors are in the green by noon.

Aurizon (ASX:AZJ) shares have dipped after reporting a $300 million buyback launch this morning, which comes on the back of the company seeing a 28 per cent increase in net profit.

On the flipside, Adairs (ASX:ADH) shares are up more than 15 per cent after reporting strong earnings, with a 19 per cent increase in net profit.

More retailers in Melbourne continue to temporarily close their doors in the height of tighter restrictions imposed by the Victorian Government, including Mosaic, the owner of ladies’ clothing brands Noni B, Katies and Rockmans.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 74 points up at 6,079. On the futures market the SPI is eying a rise of 65 points.

Local economic news

A survey released by the ABS today reveals that the Covid-19 stimulus money one in three Australians (32 per cent) received in May has been used on household expenses including bills and food, as well as put away for savings.

Broker moves

Credit Suisse rates Ansell (ASX:ANN) as Outperform ahead of its FY2020 results expected to be released on 25 August. Credit Suisse forecasts earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of US$212 million and a final dividend of US$0.30 per share is expected. The broker is cautious about industrial growth, but this is likely to be more than offset by strong demand for healthcare and single-use gloves. While the pandemic has created unprecedented demand, the broker believes the focus on protective equipment will continue globally even as the pandemic subsides. The target price is increased to $42.50. Shares in Ansell (ASX:ANN) are trading 2.1 per cent higher at $40.04.

Company news

Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) has executed contracts to sell two distribution centres for $172 million. The sale has reduced the company’s net debt to $100 million. Shares in Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) are trading 3 per cent higher at $0.69.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Financials up almost 2 per cent, while Communication Services is the sector with the fewest gains lifting just 0.1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) rising 10 per cent to $4.84, followed by shares in Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) and News Corp (ASX:NWS).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is oOh!media (ASX:OML) dropping 4.9 per cent to $0.78, followed by shares in Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) and IGO Limited (ASX:IGO).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,033 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.7 per cent lower at US$119.21.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a dip of 0.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.72US cents.  

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