Stocks of the Hour: NAB, Nearmap and Qantas

Company News

by Melissa Darmawan

Banking giant National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) has bumped up its interim dividend twofold from last year to 60 cents per share, after its cash profit exceeded forecasts for the first half of FY21. The $90.3 billion banking corporation recorded a half-on-half increase of 48.1 per cent to $3.3 billion in cash earnings. Within the first six months, rapid economic recovery boosted the big-four bank’s income, as NAB’s revenue rose 1 per cent in the half-year period ending March 31. NAB’s market analysts have attributed the positive data to the vaccine distribution effort and effective pandemic control. Shares in National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) are trading 2.45 per cent lower at $26.70.

Aerial imagery specialist Nearmap (ASX:NEA) made investors aware of the litigation by a consortium of rivals against its US subsidiary over a patent infringement allegation. Eagle View Technologies and Pictometry International have joined forces to begin legal proceedings in the United States District Court, accusing Nearmap US of breaching their patent rights to their roof-scaling technology. Nearmap acquired a roof-measuring instrument through its takeover of Pushpin, in order to gain a competitive advantage in the insurance market. Shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) are trading 15.25 per cent lower at $2.00.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) will continue its head office in Sydney and maintain their Jetstar operations in Melbourne following the start of their property footprint review in September 2020. The company has committed to keeping their heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane and establish a new flight training centre in NSW from 2023. Their review was in the wake of their $2.7 billion loss in FY20 due to the covid-19 pandemic. Qantas is expecting to receive government financial incentives from its respective states once agreements are finalized. Though a challenge for the flying Kangaroo airline is the ACCC’s proposal to knock back the plan for Qantas and Japan Airlines to coordinate flights, as the watchdog claims it breaches competition laws. The airlines announced in December last year to form a partnership to service flights between Australia, New Zealand and Japan to support the tourism industry. The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties in response to this draft by 27 May 2021. Shares in Qantas (ASX:QAN) are trading 1.98 per cent lower at $4.71.

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