The Australian sharemarket (ASX200) has risen 23.7 points or 0.36 per cent to 6,507 this morning following a 240 point rally for the Dow Jones overnight. The energy sector led the charge this morning with all sectors opening higher apart from Utilities.
Royal Dutch Shell has secured a deal to buy ERM Power (EPW), one of Australia’s biggest electricity providers to business and industry, for $2.465 per share in cash. EPW has consequently risen 72 cents or 42 per cent to $2.44 on the back of this announcement.
Once again there is a large number of companies reporting this morning with the standout being NRW Holdings (NWH), which has rallied 15 cents or 6.8 per cent to $2.34. They announced a 49 per cent increase in revenue and a 19 per cent increase in NPATA, exceeding market expectations. Vocus Group (VOC), a telecommunications company that owns Dodo and iPrimus, met full year guidance, even though net profit fell 44 per cent. The market was concerned it could be far worse so we saw a relief rally in VOC pushing it up 28.5 cents or 9.7 per cent to $3.205.
Qantas Airways (QAN) has announced another share buy back in their result as well as an increase to the dividend. QAN shares are up 19 cents or 3.3 per cent to $5.97. Medibank (MPL) has declared a special dividend after lifting full-year profit 3.1 per cent to $458.7 million and adding 15,000 new customers over the year. MPL is currently trading up 11 cents or 3.25 per cent to $3.49.
Another company to excite the market with a special dividend was Coles Group (COL) who announced not only a special but their first final dividend as a standalone company. COL is up 45 cents or 3.4 per cent to $13.70. Flight Centre Trav el (FLT) reported a small increase to their full year profit but has rallied strongly in early trade up $4.05 or 9.2 per cent to $47.88 as the market was expecting the result to be far worse than it ended up being, creating another relief rally.
Global oil prices were mixed on Wednesday. Two of Australia’s largest oil and gas companies Santos Energy (STO) and Origin Energy (ORG) also reported today with both meeting market expectations and rallying. STO has risen 25 cents or 3.6 per cent to $7.11 and ORG rallied 21 cents or 2.9 per cent to $7.41.
There were two companies whose results greatly disappointed this morning. The first being IDP Education (IEL) with its 29 per cent lift in profit falling short of the market’s expectations. Webjet (WEB) is down $1.41 or 10.18 per cent to $12.44 on its results.
South32 Ltd (S32) hit a two year low this morning after reporting a softer than anticipated full year result and dividend. They announced talks to sell its South Africa energy coal unit to Seriti Resources Holdings. S32 is down 10 cents or 3.6 per cent to $2.65. Bingo Industries (BIN) was another to disappoint after announcing a 41 per cent decline in full year profits. BIN has fallen 17 cents or 7.1 per cent to $2.22.
The Aussie dollar has pulled back over the course of the morning currently holding around 67.76 US cents. 1.2 billion shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.7 billion. 584 stocks are up, 449 down and 326 are unchanged.
Publsihed by CommSec