Local shares are trying to recover from Thursday’s 2.8% decline seen on the ASX 200. The benchmark index is drifting lower at lunch on Friday by 9 points or 0.14% to 6399.1 after swinging between gains and losses throughout the morning. Wall Street posted small gains with US retail sales data beating expectations, easing investor fears about a possible recession.
The biggest improvements are coming from the financials, healthcare and utilities while materials and communications are among the major laggards. One of the best performing individual stocks is Star Entertainment Group (SGR), the gaming operator has jumped 7% on the release of its FY19 earnings. Normalised revenue and net profit both fell but statutory net profit rose 34% to $198 million. VIP revenue was still weak over the year falling 30%.
Other companies impressing investors with profit results are Cochlear (COH) and Domain Holdings (DHG). COH, the world’s largest hearing aid maker, increased its FY19 net profit by 13% to $267.7 million. Net profit is also forecast to rise to as much as $300 million next year. COH shares are up 4.7%. DHG is 1.5% despite a widening FY loss of $138 million due to impairments connected to the property downturn.
Elsewhere, Seven West Media (SWM) is 8% higher on the announcement that Tim Worner has resigned as CEO & Managing Director with James Warburton (formerly CEO at 10 Network) to replace him effective immediately. Super Retail Group (SUL) is also outperforming after the owner of retail chains Rebel Sport, Supercheap Auto, BCF and Macpac received several broker upgrades on the back of its FY19 profit results yesterday.
Outdoor advertising firm, oOh!media (OML) is lagging behind with a slide of 23%, after being down by 40% at its worst levels, on a profit downgrade due to weaker demand for advertising. Breville Group (BRG) is being sold off, losing 10% after disappointing with its profit numbers yesterday.
The Aussie dollar is little changed so far on Friday, buying 67.8 US cents with no major economic releases to influence the local unit. So far, 1.2b units have changed hands worth $2.7b. 458 stocks are higher, 545 lower and 332 unchanged.
Published by CommSec