News Corp in talks over content fee deal with Facebook, Google

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 21 : 9-Nov-18

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson says it is holding discussions with Facebook, Google and Amazon over the payment by them of a content carriage fee for distributing its content. Thomson made his remarks as News Corp revealed revenue for its most recent quarter was up 23 per cent. He said the current financial year was off to "an impressive start", and that News Corp was continuing to focus on "digital development". News Corp’s shares rose by 4.2 per cent on 8 November on the back of its latest results announcement.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA

Woolworths lures back fickle shoppers to regain share

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 24 : 2-Nov-18

Woolworths has advised that its Australian supermarkets recorded same-store sales growth of 1.8 per cent in the September quarter, compared with 3.1 per cent in the three months to June. In contrast, Coles posted same-store sales growth of 5.1 per cent, due to its successful Little Shop promotion and its decision to extend an offer of free reusable shopping bags. However, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says same-store sales improved in September and October. Woolworths’ average food prices fell by one per cent in the September quarter as it extended price discounts to more grocery products.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, ENDEAVOUR DRINKS, AUSTRALIAN LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY GROUP LIMITED, DEUTSCHE BANK AG

AMP implodes as investors flee amid fund outflows

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 26-Oct-18

Wealth manager AMP has advised that its fund outflows totalled $1.5bn in the September quarter, compared with just $243m in the previous corresponding period. Acting CEO Mike Wilkins says lack of fund inflows is a bigger concern than the rise in outflows, adding that the problem is likely to persist until the financial services royal commission delivers its final report. AMP has also announced a $3.3bn deal to sell its life insurance business to Resolution Capital. AMP shares reached a record low on 25 October, reducing its market capitalisation by $2.3bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION CAPITAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Iron ore shipments drop 8.6pc as Fortescue Metals Group starts $500m buyback

Original article by Rushil Dutta
The West Australian – Page: Online : 26-Oct-18

Pure-play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group still expects its 2018-19 production to be within the range of 165 million to 173 million tonnes. This is despite its shipments for the first quarter falling by 8.6 per cent year-on-year to 40.2 million tonnes. Fortescue has also advised that its cash production costs rose by nine per cent in the September quarter, to an average of $US13.19 per wet metric tonne. Costs for the full year are expected to be within its previous guidance of $US12 to $US13 per wet metric tonne.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Woodside offers fix on Sunrise deadlock

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 19-Oct-18

ConocoPhillips advised in late September that it had entered into an agreement to sell its stake in the Greater Sunrise venture to the Timor-Leste government for $US350 million. Woodside Petroleum and the other members of the venture have pre-emption rights over the stake, and Woodside CFO Sherry Duhe says a decision on whether to do so will be made soon. Timor-Leste is insisting that gas from Greater Sunrise is processed onshore, but Woodside CEO Peter Coleman has reaffirmed that an onshore plant would not meet its investment hurdles. He said a way around this dilemma would be for Woodside to only invest in the offshore part of the project. Woodside has reported a 25.4 per cent increase in sales for the September quarter.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, CONOCOPHILLIPS, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, OSAKA GAS COMPANY, TOKYO GAS COMPANY LIMITED, KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY INCORPORATED

Roy Morgan releases 2018 pre-tax profit of $1.8 million (EBITDA $3.2m)

Original article by Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 19-Oct-18

Financial Year 2018 for Roy Morgan was one of transformation and new opportunities for Roy Morgan’s staff, clients and partners. The full year pre-tax profit of $1.8m (EDITDA $3.2m) was below the previous pre-tax profit of $5.1m (EBITDA $6.1m), reflecting the ongoing world-wide structural changes in the information and market research industry. The above results include Roy Morgan’s small profits in the UK & USA, and small losses in New Zealand & Indonesia. In Indonesia Roy Morgan invested in new products including "Helix Personas for Indonesia" which should grow revenue streams in the coming years. Roy Morgan is well placed for the Financial Year 2019 with a first Quarter unaudited pre-tax profit of $988,000 (EBITDA $1.45m). Roy Morgan’s latest pre-tax profits are after continued investment in the critical R&D and innovation that is the future. In the year ahead Roy Morgan will continue to focus on providing accurate information to those people in businesses, companies or institutions who believe this is essential for a democracy to survive. Click here to view the full report

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Coles shifts focus from price to convenience

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 16-Oct-18

Coles’ Little Shop plastic groceries promotion helped it to achieve a 5.1 per cent increase in same-store food sales in the September quarter, as did its free plastic bags offer. However, new MD Steven Cain said it is unlikely to achieve the same sort of growth in the December quarter. With Coles in the process of becoming a stand-alone company as it demerges from Wesfarmers, Cain says his priorities include making life easier for customers by adopting new convenience store formats and improving its online business.

CORPORATES
COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

How a $US1 move is making millions for Australian miners

Original article by Stephen Bartholomeusz
The Age – Page: 21 : 11-Oct-18

A rally in the price of iron ore, crude oil and metallurgical coal in the last month has in turn sparked a rise in the share prices of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. It is estimated that BHP’s EBITDA rises or falls by about $US227m for every $US1 movement in the iron ore price. The steel input is currently trading above $US70 per tonne, compared with BHP’s average realised price of $US56.71/tonne in 2017-18. Likewise, every $US1 per barrel change in the price of crude oil has a $US43m impact on BHP’s EBITDA.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VALE SA, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Wesfarmers to outline Coles move

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 4-Oct-18

There is speculation that Wesfarmers could release the scheme booklet for its proposed demerger of Coles before 15 October, when the supermarket chain will announce its sales figures for the first quarter of 2018-19. JPMorgan has upgraded its forecast for same-store sales growth from 2.5 per cent to four per cent. In contrast, the firm has scaled back Woolworths’ same-store sales growth expectations from 1.8 per cent to 1.3 per cent. However, Shaun Cousins of JPMorgan expects Woolworths to outperform Coles in the medium-term.

CORPORATES
WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Officeworks tipped for more growth

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 18-Sep-18

Wesfarmers’ Officeworks division posted earnings growth of 8.3 per cent in fiscal 2018, with sales rising by 9.1 per cent and return on capital up 13 per cent. MD Mark Ward is upbeat about the outlook for Officeworks, expressing confidence that it can maintain the recent growth momentum. Although Ward will retire in late 2018, Wesfarmers has yet to appoint a successor as it is focused on the upcoming demerger of Coles.

CORPORATES
OFFICEWORKS SUPERSTORES PTY LTD, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, ONTHEGO PTY LTD