Orocobre swims as its lithium rivals experience sinking feeling

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 11-Nov-19

The share price of lithium miner Orocobre has fallen by just 13.7 per cent so far in 2019, while some of its peers have shed more than 50 per cent of their value. Orocobre also defied the general downtrend in the lithium sector by posting an underlying profit of $US24.8m ($36m) for 2018-19 and cashflow from operations of $US8.48m. Orocobre’s focus is on lithium carbonate, the price of which has not fallen as sharply as that of spodumene concentrate, which is produced by its major rivals.

CORPORATES
OROCOBRE LIMITED – ASX ORE, GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, ALTURA MINING LIMITED – ASX AJM, MINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX MIN, ALITA RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX A40, LIVENT INCORPORATED

JB Hi-Fi says low interest rates a double-edged sword for retailers

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 25-Oct-19

JB Hi-Fi has advised that its Australian stores recorded same-store sales growth of 3.7 per cent in the September quarter, while its New Zealand arm’s same-store sales were up 3.8 per cent. JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray says group sales are still expected to increase by about 2.2 per cent to $7.65bn in 2019-20. He notes that while consumer confidence has improved since the 18 May federal election, the cash rate’s fall to a record low has also prompted some fears about the state of the economy.

CORPORATES
JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, THE GOOD GUYS, NICK SCALI LIMITED – ASX NCK, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL

Flush Fortescue now close to net cash

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 25-Oct-19

Pure-play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has advised that its shipments totalled 42.2 million tonnes in the September quarter. Fortescue has maintained its full-year export guidance of 170-175 million tonnes. The company received an average price of $US85 per tonne during the quarter, which is 89 per cent higher than the previous corresponding period. Fortescue reduced its net debt to $US500m ($730m) during the quarter, while it has gross debt of $US3.9bn.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED

Clock ticking on South32 manganese smelter jobs

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 18-Oct-19

Diversified miner South32 has reported that production at its Illawarra metallurgical coal mines increased by 30 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September, while manganese ore production rose by 10 per cent. South32 has also advised that it is continuing to review the TEMCO manganese alloy smelter in Tasmania, and it will further update the market in the March 2020 quarter. Closure of the smelter would result in the loss of about 250 jobs; other options include selling or mothballing the facility.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, TASMANIAN ELECTRO METALLURGICAL COMPANY PTY LTD

Southern Cross hit hard by sell-off

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 16-Oct-19

Southern Cross Media Group has advised that EBITDA for the first half of 2019-20 is expected to be within the range of $60m to $68m, compared with $82m for the same period in 2018-19. The group has also reported that revenue for the first quarter was 8.5 per cent lower than previously, due to challenging conditions in the advertising market. CFO Nick McKechnie says the group has no plans for further asset sales after selling its broadcast transmission assets in August.

CORPORATES
SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, BROADCAST AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

ANZ compo bill jumps to $1.2bn

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 21 : 9-Oct-19

The ANZ Bank has advised that its cash profit for the second half of 2018-19 will be marred by an after-tax charge of $559m due to increased provisions for customer-related remediation. ANZ has now announced a total of $1.22bn in after-tax compensation charges since 2017. Australia’s major banks have set aside a combined $7.6bn pre-tax to compensate customers, and Jarrod Martin of Credit Suisse expects this to increase. ANZ will release its financial results for the year to 30 September in late October.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Brickworks sees new strength in housing nationwide

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 20-Sep-19

Brickworks released its results for the year ending 31 July on 19 September, with Australia’s biggest brickmaker reporting a net profit of $154.6 million, down 12 per cent. Brickworks’ Australian business recorded EBIT of $57 million, down 27 per cent, while it declared a final dividend of $0.38 per share, up six per cent, with payment of the dividend to be made on 27 November. Brickworks MD Lindsay Partridge says the housing market is starting to improve, while he called for greater regulation and tighter control of poor-quality building products and sub-standard construction practices.

CORPORATES
BRICKWORKS LIMITED – ASX BKW

Telstra stung by go-slow on NBN

Original article by Supratim Adhikari
The Australian – Page: 19 : 3-Sep-19

NBN Co’s latest corporate plan indicates that seven million homes will have an active National Broadband Network service by 30 June 2020, compared to its previous forecast of 7.5 million. The slowdown in the number of homes being connected to the NBN will not only impact on NBN Co’s revenue forecasts but on Telstra’s as well. The telco has advised that the slowdown will reduce its revenue by about $400m.

CORPORATES
NBN CO LIMITED, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

Retail king Harvey says: ‘I’m never going to retire’

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 2-Sep-19

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey says the company recorded three per cent growth in same-stores sales during the first two months of 2019-20. The furniture and consumer electronics retailer’s pre-tax net profit for 2018-19 was 8.4 per cent higher than previously, at $574.56m. Meanwhile, Harvey has ruled out retirement, despite approaching his 80th birthday.

CORPORATES
HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HVN

Stan’s high-stakes battle in new Disney landscape

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Aug-19

Video streaming service Stan has posted earnings of $500,000 for the second half of 2018-19, although it has made a full-year loss of $21.3m. Revenue increased by 62 per cent to $157.1m, while the number of active subscribers rose by 200,000 to 1.7 million. Stan’s costs increased by 23 per cent to $178.4m, largely due to expenditure on marketing its Disney content, which it is likely to lose when the rival Disney+ streaming service is launched in Australia in late 2019.

CORPORATES
STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, FOXTEL NOW, KAYO SPORTS, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, HAYU, PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION, VIACOM INCORPORATED, SHOWTIME, CBS CORPORATION