Market edges higher; CBA trades ex-div
The Australian sharemarket is slightly higher in early trade, with gains from the Materials and Energy sectors outweighing weakness in Telco and Healthcare stocks. The ASX 200 (XJO) is up 13 points or 0.2% to 6,092.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) shares are weighing on the market, as the bank trades ex-dividend. CBA will pay a $2.00 per share fully-franked interim dividend on Thursday 28 March. CBA is down 2.4% to $71.55.
A raft of companies released earning results this morning, including CSL Limited (CSL), Aveo Group (AOG), Northern Star (NST), (CAR), Beach Energy (BPT), Tabcorp (TAH), Evolution Mining (EVN) & Computershare (CPU).
Beach Energy (BPT) shares are rallying 4.9% to $1.77 after lifting its full-year earnings guidance as it reported a near tripling its firsthalf net profit. BPT said net profit jumped to $282.9 million over the period, up from $95.7 million a year earlier, while total revenue increased to $1.06 billion from $392.6 million. BPT’s result was boosted by strong production and a drop in capital expenditure. It’s now expecting FY19 EBITDA of $1.25-$1.35 billion, an increase of $200 million on its previous guidance.
Tabcorp’s (TAH) reported a more than seven-fold increase in its first-half net profit to $182.5 million as the gambling giant benefited from its 2017 merger with Tatts Group. TAH shares are down 2.8% to $4.63.
CSL Limited (CSL) has lifted first-half profit by 6.8% to $US1.16 billion, helped by increased drug sales in the US. The blood products maker also raised its interim dividend by US$0.06 to US$0.85 per share. CSL expects its full-year profit to come in at the upper end of its existing guidance of $US1.88 billion to $US1.95 billion, on a constant currency basis. However, revenue was slightly below estimates amid softer sales in some of the Behring unit. As such, CSL shares are down 2.0% to $189.89.
Aveo Group (AOG) reported a 67% drop in first-half underlying profit after tax and non-controlling interest of $12.0 million. Net tangible assets per security fell 2% to $3.83 as at 31 December 2018 due to a decrease in the value of the Retirement property portfolio. AOG shares are up 2.3% to $1.76.
833 million shares have been traded, worth $2.1 billion. 530 stocks are higher, 371 are weaker, while 338 are unchanged.
In economic news, the monthly Westpac/Melb Institute consumer confidence index rose 4.3% in February.

Published by CommSec