Despite soft offshore leads and a number of heavyweights including Telstra, Wesfarmers and Woodside trading ex-dividend today, the market is 0.22% per cent higher at midday.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14 points up at 5,453. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points higher.
UBS has said results this reporting season are so far in line with expectations. The investment bank says increased revenues, due to the lower dollar combined with cost cutting will help earnings growth going forward.
Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX)
CEO Julian Segal has blamed a falling Australian dollar and ‘negative externalities’ for impacting its refining margins as Caltex Australia reported a full-year profit of $332 million, down 27.5 per cent from $458 million in 2012. The result is in line with Caltex’s previous guidance of between $320 million-$340 million.
The company reported growth in the sales of premium fuels and an increase in the efficiency of its refining operations, although revenue for the refining business was negatively affected by higher oil prices.
Caltex will pay a 17 cent fully franked final dividend. Shares in Caltex Australia are trading up 2.34 per cent at $20.97.
Shares in Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ)
have shrugged off news that merger talks with Macquarie Radio Network Limited (ASX:MRN)
have collapsed. A merger between the two would create a dominant player in the talk-back radio market with a greater pull for advertising dollars.
The Financial Review has reported key on-air talent at Macquarie, Ray Hadley and Alan Jones refused to be part of the $200 million deal. Both Fairfax Media’s radio arm and Macquarie Radio network have reported lower profits this half. Shares in Fairfax Media are trading up 3.06 per cent at $0.93.
The best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials gaining 158 points to 10,890. Shares in BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL)
have risen 7.67 per cent and trading at $6.32. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG)
and Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Telcos, dragged down by Telstra trading ex-dividend. Telcos are 47 points down at 1,783 this midday. Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS)
have fallen 2.86 per cent, trading at $5.10. Shares in iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN)
are also lower. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT)
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,325 an ounce. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8972.