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Aussie shares are lifting for a third day and hovering around four month highs thanks to improvements from banks and technology stocks. The ASX 200 is up 0.4 per cent despite no lead from Wall Street due to a public holiday.
Blackmores (BKL) is down 23 per cent following the release of its half year results. Revenue rose by 11.1 per cent to a record $319.3m while profit edged higher by just 0.4 per cent to $34.3m. The vitamin company will pay eligibleinvestors a $1.50 per share dividend. BKL shares are slumping on its outlook, after warning it doesn’t expect profits to grow in the 2H. It blamed the outlook partly on 3Q sales in China, higher inventory and softer sentiment.
 Coles (COL) is down 1.5 per cent after recording a 29.4 per cent slide in half year earnings to $381m. The supermarket chain’s profits were held back by restructuring and demerger costs. COL split from parent company Wesfarmers last year.
Cochlear (COH) is down 7.5 per cent despite posting a 16 per cent lift in half year profit to $128.6m. The inner ear hearing implant maker said it has lost some market share in the US and Germany which are two key markets for the group. COH has reaffirmed its FY19 guidance.
Seven West Media (SWM) posted a 7.8 per cent fall in half year underlying earnings while net profit slumped by 13.9 per cent to $85.8m. SWM expects modest EBIT growth of between 0-5 per cent over the year and a low single digit decline in its metro TV ad market. SWM is down 8.8 per cent.
Altium (ALU) is up 18 per cent and is standing out among companies out with earnings. ALU handed down a 24 per cent lift in revenue to US$78.1m and a 58 per cent increase in NPAT to a record US$23.4m thanks to strong growth in China. ALU will pay eligible investors a $0.16 per share dividend, a 23 per cent lift on last year.
The Reserve Bank Board minutes were released today at 11.30am AEDT. Members noted that “there were significant uncertainties around the forecasts, with scenarios where an increase in the cash rate would be appropriate at some point and other scenarios where a decrease in the cash rate would be appropriate.” The market is of the mind interest rates will likley remain on hold for an extended period.
915.3m shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.1bn. 446 stocks are up, 463 down and 372 are flat. Published by CommSec