Dividend doubt as Westpac flags profit hit

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

Westpac has advised that its financial results for the second half of 2019-20 will be marred by $1.22bn worth of write-downs and impairment charges. This includes a $406m write-down of its life insurance business and a $415m increase in provision for its settlement with Austrac for breaching anti-money laundering laws. Westpac will also incur an additional $104m in costs associated with its customer remediation program. UBS expects Westpac to pay a final dividend of $0.35 per share, after withholding its interim payout due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

OZ Minerals adds glowing copper to golden outlook

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Oct-20

OZ Minerals produced 23,873 tonnes of copper in the September quarter, compared with 24,577 tonnes in the three months to June. Gold output also fell slightly, to 66,746 ounces. OZ has upgraded its full-year guidance for gold production to between 242,000 and 259,000 ounces, with production at its Prominent Hill mine in South Australia expected to be 10,000 to 15,000 ounces higher than previously forecast. Full-year copper production is expected to be in line with earlier guidance. OZ shares closed 5.3 per cent higher at 15.97 on 22 October.

CORPORATES
OZ MINERALS LIMITED – ASX OZL

AMP bids to reassure investors on outflows

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Oct-20

AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the company has been resilient during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the wealth manager has reported net outflows of $8bn for the September quarter, with net inflows of just $6bn. The AMP Capital division has posted net outflows of $1.1bn for the period, while its assets under management fell 0.4 per cent to $189.2bn. Meanwhile, AMP Bank’s deposits increased by $52m to $17bn during the quarter, but its loan book fell $303m to $20.6bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, AMP BANK LIMITED

Results so far are a shot in the arm for investors

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 23 : 20-Aug-20

The S&P/ASX 200 has gained two per cent since the start of the August reporting season. Investors have responded positively to earning results, dividend payouts and outlook guidance, as well as a rally in the S&P 500 and the continued strength of commodity prices. Indeed, dividend announcements were a common factor among many stocks that outperformed on 19 August; likewise, a lack of dividend payments contributed to some stocks being sold down.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S 500 INDEX

Miners should be at the top of their game with soaring gold price, says Evolution’s Klein

Original article by Nick Evans, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 16 : 24-Jul-20

Evolution Mining has advised that its gold production increased by 31.8 per cent in the June quarter, to 218,104 ounces. Evolution’s gold output for 2019-20 totalled 746,463 ounces, at an all-in sustaining cost of $956 per ounce at its Australian mines. Executive chairman Jake Klein expects the gold price to remain high in the medium-term, citing factors such as the federal government’s stimulus measures. Rival gold producer Northern Star Resources has reported output of 267,361 ounces for the June quarter, at an average realised gold price of $2,487 an ounce.

CORPORATES
EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED – ASX EVN, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST

BOOT test a hurdle for IR reform: Scott

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 10-Jun-20

Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott says that Australia’s first recession in three decades requires a new approach to industrial relations. He says the ‘better off overall test’ in the Fair Work Act in particular is a hindrance to finalising enterprise bargaining agreements. He argues that employees and businesses alike benefit from EBAs if they are structured in the right way. Wesfarmers’ trading update shows that Bunnings has recorded sales growth of 11.3 per cent so far in 2019-20, while Kmart’s sales are up 6.1 per cent.

CORPORATES
WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Google’s gross revenue dwarfs tax bill again

Original article by Michael Bailey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 15-May-20

Google Australia had gross revenue of $4.8 billion in 2019, of which around $4.3 billion came from advertisers, according to accounts lodged with the corporate regulator on 14 May. However, the top line in its accounts shows revenue of just $1.2 billion; Google Australia says it sees itself as just as an agent that sells advertising product created by its US parent, only booking the commission it earns on each sale as revenue. Accordingly, its gross profit only amounted to $823 million, while its tax bill came in at just $100 million.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Bad debts hang over Westpac dividend plans

Original article by James Frost, Aleks Vickovich, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 19 : 4-May-20

Westpac’s dividend payout is likely to be a key focus for investors when its half-year financial results are released on 4 May. Westpac has already advised of $1.6bn in impairment charges for coronavirus-related loan losses. Matt Williams of Airlie Funds Management says Westpac should not pay an interim dividend, arguing that investors expect companies to preserve capital in the current environment. David Walker of Clime Asset Management in turn expects Westpac to pay a much lower half-year dividend and opt for a dividend reinvestment plan.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AIRLIE FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, CLIME ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Right as rain: Evolution sticks to guidance

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 24-Apr-20

Evolution Mining has advised that its gold production fell by three per cent to 165,502 ounces in the March quarter, while it still expects full-year output of about 725,000 ounces. This excludes the contribution of the Red Lake mine in Canada, which it acquired from Newmont Goldcorp. Meanwhile, Evolution has indicated that concerns about water supply at the Cowal mine in drought-affected New South Wales have eased due to recent rainfall and the completion of a water pipeline upgrade.

CORPORATES
EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED – ASX EVN, NEWMONT GOLDCORP CORPORATION

Chinese demand has BHP optimistic

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 16 : 22-Apr-20

BHP produced 68 million tonnes of iron ore in the March quarter, a year-on-year increase of four per cent. Production for the first nine months of 2019-20 rose to a record 205 million tonnes. BHP notes that demand for iron ore in China remains strong, but it has flagged a potential double-digit fall in steel production outside of China in 2020. BHP’s quarterly production report also shows that output at its coal mines in Queensland was 16 per cent lower than in the December quarter and seven per cent lower year-on-year.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP