Stocks of the Hour: Viva Energy, Rural Funds & Challenger Exploration

Company News

by Lauren Evans

Shell petrol station owner Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) reports a strong first half of the year. The energy supplier expects first half earnings of $390 million to $410 million, an increase of 34 per cent over the pre-pandemic levels of FY 2019, thanks to strong sales growth in its non-aviation businesses, supportive margins, and an improved refining performance since returning to full production in late 2020. The earnings guidance came despite the mixed volume growth across its different business units when comparing to H1 FY19 levels. Shares in Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA) are trading 5.6 per cent higher at $2.08.

Mining company Challenger Exploration (ASX:CEL) is set to acquire the remaining 75 per cent stake of their Hualilan Gold Project in Argentina with the aim to own 100 per cent of the project. The company had rights to move to a 75 per cent ownership of the Hualilan Gold Project by the completion of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and the issue of 50 million CEL shares. Acquiring the final 25 per cent of Hualilan, will involve the issue of 64 million CEL shares and US $3.69 million in cash. Shares in Challenger Exploration (ASX:CEL) are trading 3.4 per cent lower at 29 cents.

Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) have announced the completion of its institutional entitlement offer, raising $30 million at $2.47 per share on 8 July 2021. RFF is a real estate investment trust that owns a portfolio of agricultural assets.The company will now push ahead with the retail component of the entitlement offer to raise approximately $70 million, taking the total size of the entitlement offer to approximately $100 million. The retail entitlement offer will open at 9am on Wednesday, 14 July 2021. Shares in Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) are trading 2.4 per cent lower at $2.52.

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