Stocks of the Hour: Telstra, AGL & QBE

Company News

by Melissa Darmawan

Australia’s largest telecom provider Telstra (ASX:TLS) have popped out a dividend despite their 11.6 per cent fall in total income to $23.1 billion for the financial year 2021, after categorizing the year as a “turning point” in its financial outlook. Their EBITDA tumbled 14.2 per cent to $7.6 billion while their net profit after tax, jumped 3.4 per cent to $1.9 billion for the financial year. The tumble included a $650 million hit from the NBN headwind along with a $380 million fall, from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. A fully franked final dividend of 8 cents per share is set to be paid in September this year. Along with the news, they have also announced an on-market share buy-back of up to $1.35 billion. Shares are trading 3.5 per cent higher at $3.97.

The nation’s largest power supplier AGL (ASX:AGL) continued to battle the rise in renewable energy denting their financial 2021’s profits.  The power supplier posted a $2.1 billion loss after posting a $1.0 billion profit the year prior with their revenue tumbling 10 per cent at $10.9 billion. Chair Peter Botten said “there has been continued uncertainty regarding energy policy and an acceleration of the market forces that determine our strategy”. “This has included increasing pressure for energy companies and society as a whole to take accelerated action on climate change.” Despite this, AGL managed to squeeze out a final dividend of 34 cents per share, a 37 per cent fall from last year's pay out set to be paid in September this year. Shares are trading 5.3 per cent lower at $7.20.

QBE’s (ASX:QBE) profit has bounced back from a loss in the first half of the year, with a 175 per cent boost to their interim dividend from a year ago thanks to a material turnaround in both underwriting and investment returns. A statutory net profit after tax of US$441 million was posted from a net loss after tax of US$712 million in the prior period while their revenue rose 14 per cent to $US9.1 billion in the first half of the year from US$7.9 billion. An interim dividend of 11 Aussie cents per share, up 6 cents Aussie cents is set to be paid in September this year. Shares are trading 8 per cent higher at $12.50.

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