Businesses buffeted in sea of uncertainty

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 17-Mar-20

A growing number of Australian-listed companies are abandoning their recently-issued earnings guidance in response to the coronavirus. They include Cochlear, which has warned that hearing implants will be a low priority for the healthcare sector in terms of elective surgery when the virus is eventually contained. Challenger Limited, Auckland International Airport and oOh!Media are among the other companies that have withdrawn their earnings guidance. In contrast, The Reject Shop has advised that its sales have risen strongly year-on-year amid panic buying by consumers.

CORPORATES
COCHLEAR LIMITED – ASX COH, CHALLENGER LIMITED – ASX CGF, AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED – ASX AIA, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

Bull to bear in three weeks with market down 20pc as Trump leaves the world waiting

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 12-Mar-20

The Australian sharemarket is now officially in bear market territory, having shed 20 per cent since reaching a record high of 7,162.5 points just three weeks ago. Some $13bn worth of shares changed hands on 11 March, which is the fifth-highest daily total on record. Richard Coppleson of Bell Potter expects market volatility to persist for at least another month or so. Meanwhile, Josh Williamson of Citigroup now expects Australia to record minus 0.25 per cent GDP growth in the March quarter and zero growth in the June quarter.

CORPORATES
BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

World hunkers down for fight against virus

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 29 : 6-Mar-20

Investors have responded positively to the announcement of economic stimulus measures in Australia and the US in response to the coronavirus. Wall Street and sharemarkets across the Asia-Pacific region rallied on 5 March, while the yield on 10-year Australian government bonds rose six basis points to 0.78 per cent. Meanwhile, financial markets expect further official interest rate cuts in both Australia and the US in coming months.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S 500 INDEX, SHANGHAI COMPOSITE INDEX, NIKKEI 225 INDEX, HANG SENG INDEX, KOSPI INDEX, TAIEX INDEX

More capital raisings on the cards: Goldman

Original article by Melissa Yeo
The Australian – Page: 27 : 6-Mar-20

Matthew Ross of Goldman Sachs says the coronavirus outbreak is likely to prompt more listed companies to undertake capital raisings in coming months, particularly ones that are close to breaching their debt covenants. Ross notes that the supply chains of many companies will be impacted by the virus, given the high level of dependence on imports from China, especially in the consumer goods sector.

CORPORATES
GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Investors rush to safe havens as stocks slide, dollar dives in coronavirus rout

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 28-Feb-20

The Australian sharemarket has fallen by seven per cent since reaching a record high of 7,197.2 points on 20 February, slashing its capitalisation by $150bn. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 reached an intra-day low of 6,630.5 points on 27 February, its lowest level in three months, while the Australian dollar tested an 11-year low. Mikhail Sprogis of Goldman Sachs has forecast that the gold price will top $US1,800 an ounce in the next 12 months, amid a flight to safe-haven investments.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INCORPORATED

Market sinking in a sea of red

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 27-Feb-20

The Australian sharemarket has shed 6.3 per cent since reaching a record high of 7,197.2 points on 20 February, slashing its capitalisation by $136bn. Richard Coppleson of Bell Potter believes that a further sell-off is likely amid growing concern about the spread of the coronavirus beyond mainland China. Wall Street and Asian sharemarkets have also retreated, while the Australian dollar fell to an 11-year low in local trading on 26 February.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED

Earnings shredded as virus fears bite

Original article by Eli Greenblat, David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 24 : 26-Feb-20

The coronavirus outbreak has become a major theme for the February reporting season, with a growing number of listed companies issuing earnings downgrades due to the impact of the virus. Treasury Wine Estates, Blackmores and Seek are among the latest companies to issue profit warnings; Treasury has downgraded its earnings expectations for the third time in 2020. Meanwhile, retail group Mosaic Brands had advised that its dividends have been put on hold until the impact of the coronavirus becomes clear.

CORPORATES
TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED – ASX TWE, BLACKMORES LIMITED – ASX BKL, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, MOSAIC BRANDS LIMITED – ASX MOZ

Epidemic will create merger and acquisition opportunities

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 19 : 24-Feb-20

Tony Damian of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills expects mergers and acquisitions activity in the Asia-Pacific region to remain strong in 2020. This is despite challenges such as the coronavirus outbreak. Damian forecasts that private equity firms and superannuation funds will be a major driver of M&A activity in Australia during 2020. Meanwhile, data from Refinitiv shows that the value of announced M&A deals in Australia has topped $US14.8bn in the year to date, compared with just $US5.4bn at the same time in 2019.

CORPORATES
HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, REFINITIV AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Investors shrug off weak outlook, virus threat

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 20-Feb-20

Pieter Stoltz of UBS notes that 28 per cent of Australia’s large-capitalisation stocks have exceeded their dividend expectations so far in the February reporting season. He says this may be due to factors such as demand for stable income or limited investment opportunities. Stoltz adds that 31 per cent of large companies have upgraded their earnings guidance, while just 19 per cent have downgraded their earnings guidance.

CORPORATES
UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Investors see windfall from iron ore giants

Original article by Vesna Poljak, William McInnes, Lucas Baird, Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 20 : 17-Feb-20

Futures pricing suggests that the Australian sharemarket will shed about 0.2 per cent when trading resumes on 17 February, after the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 approached a record high in the previous session. The earnings season will be a key focus for investors in the next week, with speculation that BHP and Fortescue Metals Group will increase their dividend payouts due to a strong iron ore price. The impact of the bushfires and the coronavirus on some companies will also be closely scrutinised.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG