Bigger isn’t better says CEO as Newcrest doubles its profit

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 15-Feb-19

Newcrest Mining has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $US237m ($334m), compared with $US98m previously. CEO Sandeep Biswas says the gold miner is well-placed to capitalise on any acquisition opportunities, but stresses that a deal would have to add value for shareholders. Biswas adds that mining companies should not pursue mergers and acquisitions simply to become larger unless the deal will add value. Newcrest shareholders will receive an interim dividend of $US0.075 per share.

CORPORATES
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, NEWMONT MINING CORPORATION, GOLDCORP INCORPORATED, BARRICK GOLD CORPORATION, RANDGOLD RESOURCES LIMITED, LUNDIN MINING CORPORATION, SOLGOLD PLC

HT&E tunes in to potential deals after strengthening balance sheet

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 14-Feb-19

Radio broadcaster HT&E has posted a net profit of $36.7m for calendar 2018, which is 23 per cent higher than previously. Revenue was five per cent higher at $271.8m and EBITDA rose seven per cent to $71.8m. The company’s Australian Radio Network division has posted revenue of $235.5m and EBITDA of $84.6m for the year. CEO Ciaran Davis says HT&E is open to acquisitions, but he says there are no "definitive opportunities" at present.

CORPORATES
HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, AUSTRALIAN RADIO NETWORK PTY LTD, ADSHEL PTY LTD, NZME LIMITED – ASX NZM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Beach lifts profit guidance as more growth tipped

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 14-Feb-19

Beach Energy has posted a 2081-19 interim net profit of $282.9m and underlying earnings of $278.8m. Sales rose by 169 per cent to $1.057bn, and Beach has upgraded its full-year EBITDA forecast in response to its strong performance in the first half. CEO Matt Kay says the oil and gas group will consider acquisitions, but he stresses that any deals would need to add value for shareholders. Shares in Beach closed 5.3 per cent higher at $1.78 on 13 February.

CORPORATES
BEACH ENERGY LIMITED – ASX BPT, LATTICE ENERGY LIMITED, SEVEN GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX SVW, BP PLC, CUE ENERGY RESOURCES NL – ASX CUE, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Rising gold price makes Evolution think twice about acquisitions

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 14-Feb-19

Evolution Mining has reported a 2018-19 interim net profit of $92m, down from $122.5m previously. Executive chairman Jake Klein anticipates further consolidation in the gold sector and he says the mid-tier miner is open to acquisitions. However, he stresses that Evolution will only consider assets that enhance the company’s portfolio and add value for shareholders. Meanwhile, Northern Star Resources has posted an interim net profit of $82m and revenue of $633.5m.

CORPORATES
EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED – ASX EVN, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, BARRICK GOLD CORPORATION, RANDGOLD RESOURCES LIMITED, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

Macquarie chief backs loan brokers

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 13-Feb-19

Macquarie Group has affirmed that it expects profit growth of around 15 per cent for fiscal 2019, which suggests a full-year profit of at least $3bn. Meanwhile, Macquarie has more than $24bn worth of capital reserves at present, but CEO Shemara Wikramanayake has stressed the need for discipline with regard to risk management in the current environment. She has also expressed support for the mortgage broking industry in the wake of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CADENCE CAPITAL LIMITED – ASX CDT, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, QUADRANT ENERGY PTY LTD, PROPERTY EXCHANGE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

JB Hi-Fi surges as tech reigns

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Feb-19

Consumer electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $160.1m, which is 5.5 per cent higher than previously. JB Hi-Fi has forecast that its full-year net profit will be within the range of $237m to $245m; full-year sales are expected to be $7.1bn, after sales totalled $3.843bn in the first half. CEO Richard Murray says consumers still seem to be buying gadgets such as smartphones and internet-connected fridges, at a time when many discretionary retailers are struggling.

CORPORATES
JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, THE GOOD GUYS, OPHIR ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

ASX’s most shorted stocks set for results reporting test

Original article by William McInnes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 11-Feb-19

Some of the Australian sharemarket’s most heavily shorted companies will release their latest financial results in the week beginning 11 February, including JB Hi-Fi, Super Retail Group, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and AMP. JB Hi-Fi is the most shorted S&P/ASX 200 stock, and Jun Bei Liu of Tribeca Investment Partners notes that the retail trading environment is challenging at present. Meanwhile, ASX 200 trading volumes were 11 per cent higher than average during the first week of the reporting season, as fund managers returned to the market.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, FIRETRAIL INVESTMENTS PTY LTD, OPHIR ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, CLEANAWAY WASTE MANAGEMENT LIMITED – ASX CWY, LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, CYBG PLC – ASX CYB, JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC – ASX JHX, NICK SCALI LIMITED – ASX NCK, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HVN, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Taylor blasts AGL’s high prices

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 8-Feb-19

Energy Minister Angus Taylor contends that Australians should be irate by AGL’s announcement that it has made a $537 million interim net profit. He claims that AGL and other energy companies are making big profits at a time when consumers and businesses are struggling with high power prices. Taylor has also stated that comments by energy companies that the federal government’s "big stick" legislation is deterring investment is false, noting that investment in the sector will exceed $25 billion over the three years to 2020.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Comyn confident about house prices

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 21 : 7-Feb-19

The Commonwealth Bank has posted a 2018-19 interim cash profit of $4.77bn, which is 2.1 per cent lower than previously. Mortgage and business lending rose by four per cent and five per cent respectively during the half-year, while lending margins were affected by factors such as increased competition and rising funding costs. Meanwhile, CEO Matt Comyn forecasts that growth in housing credit will slow in 2019, although he does not anticipate a sharp decline in house prices.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Tough earnings season ahead as pressure builds

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 31-Jan-19

Tony Brennan of Citigroup says earnings guidance in the February 2019 reporting season is likely to be influenced by factors such as the slowdown in Australia’s housing market and falling business sentiment. Brennan says companies in a range of sectors have downgraded their earnings forecasts in recent months, and this may be reflected in the upcoming profit reporting season. The S&P/ASX 200 has gained 4.3 per cent so far in 2019, and Citigroup still expects it to test the 6,300-point level by the end of the year.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD