Westpac warns of hit to bottom line

Original article by Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 20-Feb-20

Westpac has used a market update for the first quarter of 2019-20 to advise that its earnings for the financial year will be affected by factors such as the Austrac scandal, storms and the bushfires crisis. Citigroup has responded by downgrading its half-year earnings per share forecast by seven per cent, while its forecast for the full year has been reduced by five per cent. Westpac could face fines of up to $2bn for breaching anti-money laundering laws, while it is the subject of two class actions over the scandal.

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

News Corp profit falls as company hit by sluggish Australian economy

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 7-Feb-20

News Corporation has released its financial results for the three months to December, reporting a profit of $US103 million ($153.1 million). This compares to a profit of $US119 million in the prior year period, while revenue was down six per cent to $US2.48 billion, with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company blaming the torpid Australian economy for the decline. Revenue for news and information services fell $16 million, with the Australian market down nine per cent. Subscriber numbers for Foxtel, which includes streaming services Foxtel Now and Kayo, declined from 3.065 million at the end of the September quarter to 2.95 million at the end of the December quarter.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, FOXTEL NOW, KAYO SPORTS

Drought to hit Newcrest mine

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 31-Jan-20

Newcrest Mining has advised that it produced 551,000 ounces of gold in the December quarter, which is eight per cent higher than previously. Its all-in-sustaining cost of production fell by $US40 an ounce to $US859. Newcrest’s flagship Cadia mine in New South Wales produced 239,722 ounces of gold and 26,478 tonnes of copper during the quarter. However, Newcrest has warned that the declining water supply at Cadia means that production cuts may be necessary before the end of the year if the drought persists.

CORPORATES
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM

Henry sharpens BHP’s iron will

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 & 20 : 22-Jan-20

BHP still expects its 2019-20 iron ore production in the Pilbara to be within the range of 273 to 286 million tonnes, after reporting output of 137 million tonnes for the first half. This suggests that production in the second half could be up to 149 million tonnes. BHP received an average of $US78.30 per tonne for iron ore in the first half, which is 41 per cent higher than previously. Meanwhile, BHP has advised that production at its Mount Arthur coal mine in New South Wales was affected by the drought and bushfires during the first half.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

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