It was a quiet first hour of trade for the Australian sharemarket (ASX200) and it wasn’t till the second hour that the market pushed meaningfully higher rising 43 points or 0.66 per cent to 6,512 following a 250 point rally in the US overnight. There is, once again, a large number of companies reporting today with lots of news flow. The mining sector opened down almost 1 per cent with BHP as well as the Gold stocks falling. Across the rest of the market the Energy, Healthcare and Consumer Staples sectors opened well.
Global oil prices rose by around 2 per cent on Monday after a weekend attack on a Saudi oil field. The energy sector has performed strongly so far this morning on the back of this with Beach Energy (BPT) the standout up 13.5 cents or 6.7 per cent to $2.14.
Australia’s largest mining company BHP Group (BHP) has fallen 13 cents or 0.33 per cent to $36.11 after reporting a lower than expected underlying profit for the year. BHP’s divestment of their US shale assets for far less than the market expected was a key disappointment this year, as were the losses associated with the Samarco Dam disaster. There were a number of positives from their result though, including a record final dividend of 78 US cents per share and a full year net profit of US$8.31 billion, which is more than double last year’s net profit.
Kogan Ltd (KGN) was a standout in early trading after reporting a 21.9 per cent lift in full year profits to $17.2 million. They reported a 6.4 per cent rise in revenue and a 15.9 per cent increase in active customers for the year. KGN has rallied 39 cents or 7.4 per cent to $5.63.
Sonic Healthcare (SHL) reported a full year net profit of $549.7 million, stating its strategy of building scale in the U.S. through deals and partnerships with hospitals helped to drive its 16 per cent rise in annual net profit. SHL has climbed 72 cents or 2.59 per cent to $28.47.
Seek Limited (SEK) reported a strong full year profit, which was more than triple last years. This comes despite a weak number of job ads and strong competition. SEK is improving 87 cents or 4.5 per cent to $20.
One of the companies heavily hit this morning wasVirtus Health (VRT). They reported a 7.6 per cent fall in profitscaused by rising costs, which did not offset the rise in revenue for the year. VRT is down 29 cents or 5.9 per cent to $4.62.
Monadelphous Group (MND) was another to disappoint this morning reporting a 29 per cent fall in full year net profit to $50.6 million. They also cut their dividend by 22 per cent to 23 cents per share. MND is down 57 cents or 3.1 per cent to $17.38.
Yesterday GWA Group (GWA) reported a strong full year result with its shares advancing 1.8 per cent, however today there has been a number of analyst downgrades and consequently GWA has fallen 11.5 cents or 3.24 per cent to $3.24. After a tough day yesterday BlueScope Steel (BSL) is rebounding today and is making up some of yesterday’s losses, currently up 66 cents or 5.9 per cent to $11.84.
The Aussie dollar is buying 67.78 US centsafter the RBA minutes from its August meeting were released, The Reserve Bank remains open to further rate cuts if needed. 1.2 billion shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.8 billion. 600 stocks are up, 379 down and 329 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec