Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange:
BBN – BABY BUNTING – up 8.5 cents, or 5.8 per cent, at $1.56
Aggressive discounting in the baby goods sector, particularly for car seats, baby carriers and toys, have contributed to a significant fall in Baby Bunting’s first-half profit but the retailer has flagged an improving second half.
IFL – IOOF HOLDINGS – down 23 cents, or 2.2 per cent, at $10.27
Wealth manager IOOF Holdings has reported a 39 per cent decline in half-year profit to $45.2 million, weighed down by acquisition-related costs and a goodwill impairment.
MEA – MCGRATH – down 1.5 cents, or 3.5 per cent, at 41 cents.
On Thursday night John McGrath issued a statement denying his gambling debts are out of control or in any way linked to his stake in his embattled real estate business, following claims made in media reports.
MPL – MEDIBANK PRIVATE – up 11 cents, or 3.6 per cent, at $3.15
Medibank Private has lifted half-year profit nearly six per cent but cost pressures on consumers have kept growth in health insurance premium revenue to less than two per cent.
PRY – PRIMARY HEALTHCARE – up 12 cents, or 3.4 per cent, at $3.65
Primary Health Care has ended three years of falling profits by lifting first-half profit 4.7 per cent to $22.1 million despite another drop in earnings at its medical centres.
SGR – THE STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP – down 38 cents, or 6.3 per cent, at $5.67
The Star Entertainment Group’s first-half profit has slumped 76.8 per cent slump to $32.9 million, weighed down by $32 million in significant items and an abnormally low win rate in the international VIP rebate business.
VRL – VILLAGE ROADSHOW – up 17 cents, or 5.5 per cent, at $3.26
Village Roadshow’s shares have risen after the entertainment business said it had made a half-year profit of $171.9 million despite a five per cent fall in revenue to $515.2 million.
WHC – WHITEHAVEN COAL – down 21 cents, or 4.5 per cent, at $4.45
Whitehaven Coal’s half-year net profit has jumped 63 per cent to $257.2 million, with the miner benefiting from higher volumes and strong prices, however the company has reaffirmed lower full-year production guidance.