Coles boss bullish as online sales hit $1bn

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Aug-19

Grocery and liquor retailer Coles Group has posted a 2018-19 net profit of $1.434bn, which is 9.1 per cent lower than previously. Earnings from continuing operations were down 8.1 per cent at $1.325bn, and sales fell 1.7 per cent to $38.46bn. Coles’ online sales increased by 30 per cent to $1.1bn, and the division was profitable for the first time in 2018-19. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.24 per share, plus a special dividend of $0.115 a share.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, COLES ONLINE PTY LTD, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VINTAGE CELLARS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, LIQUORLAND (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, FIRST CHOICE LIQUOR SUPERSTORE, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

South32 poised to exit S African coal assets as profit plunges

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

Diversified miner South32 has posted a 2018-19 statutory net profit of $US389m, which is 71 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by a $US504m impairment charge associated with its South African thermal coal assets. Underlying earnings fell by 25 per cent to $US992m. Meanwhile, South32 is set to sell its South African coal mines to Seriti Resources, and CEO Graham Kerr has ruled out buying any more thermal coal assets, including BHP’s Mt Arthur mine.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, SERITI RESORCES, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Rising costs and tough TV ad market eat into Nine’s profit

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

Nine Entertainment Company has posted a 2018-19 statutory net profit from continuing operations of $216.6m, which is three per cent higher than previously. Challenging conditions in the advertising market saw the Nine Network’s revenue fall by six per cent to $1.09bn; its costs rose four per cent to $876.6m, and Nine expects a similar increase in costs during 2019-20. The group’s publishing division posted full-year earnings of $82.7m, compared with $50.2m previously. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.05 per share, and a full-year payout of $0.10.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Seven set for tough result as ratings flop

Original article by Zoe Samios, Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 23 : 19-Aug-19

Tribeca Investment Partners’ Jun Bei Liu expects Seven West Media to announce weak earnings and writedowns when its 2018-19 financial results are released on 20 August. The media group had issued a profit warning in May, and the Seven Network’s audience share is currently 2.4 per cent lower year-on-year. In contrast, the Nine Network’s audience share has risen by 3.4 per cent. New Seven West CEO James Warburton has noted that the Seven Network has some "ageing formats"; data from OzTAM shows that ‘My Kitchen Rules’ and ‘House Rules’ in particular have lost significant audience share in recent years.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, OZTAM PTY LTD

BHP to release a dividend smash hit

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 19-Aug-19

The consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg is that BHP will post a 2018-19 underlying profit of $US9.91bn on 20 August. UBS is more bullish, forecasting a profit of at least $US10bn. UBS also expects shareholders to receive a final dividend of $US0.82 per share, with a full-year payout of $US2.39. Citigroup in turn anticipates a final dividend of $US0.79 a share and a total dividend of $US2.36 for the year. BHP paid out $US8.6bn ($12.7bn) worth of dividends earlier in 2019.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, BLOOMBERG LP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

AGL eyes alternatives as Vocus off the table

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 9-Aug-19

AGL Energy has posted a 2018-19 net profit of $905m, which is 42.8 per cent lower than previously. Its underlying profit after tax rose by 2.2 per cent to $1.04bn. AGL has forecast that its profit will be within the range of $780m and $860m in 2019-20, citing factor such as lower electricity prices, higher fuel costs and the impact of an outage at its Loy Yang A generator in Victoria. Meanwhile, CEO Brett Redman says AGL remains open to expanding into the data services sector, despite abandoning a bid for Vocus Group earlier in 2019.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, PERTH ENERGY PTY LTD, VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Cheap money squeezes CBA

Original article by James Eyers, Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 18 : 8-Aug-19

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has posted a 2018-19 cash profit of $8.49bn, which is 4.7 per cent lower than previously; revenue was two per cent lower at $24.4bn. CEO Matt Comyn has warned that the bank’s net interest margin will fall by four basis points in 2019-20 due to the consecutive official interest rate cuts in June and July. He adds that there will be limited scope to pass on further rate cuts to customers, as many of its deposit rates are already close to zero. CBA’s cost-to-income ratio is currently 46.2 per cent, and Comyn says the aim is to reduce it to below 40 per cent over time.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, PM CAPITAL LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND

CBA sets banking tone with profit pressure

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 5-Aug-19

The consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg is that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia will post a 2018-19 cash profit of $8.76bn, which would be seven per cent lower than previously. Jonathan Mott of UBS estimates that CBA has about $5bn in excess capital after completing the sale of Colonial First State Global Asset Management. He says that rather than announcing a special dividend, the bank should retain some capital until the outcome of the New Zealand Capital Review is known. Mott recently downgraded his recommendation on CBA’s stock to ‘sell’. AMP and Suncorp are among the other companies that will issue earnings reports in coming days.

CORPORATES
COMMOTION SYSTEMS, BLOOMBERG LP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX IAG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED – ASX TCL, RECKON LIMITED – ASX RKN, MIRVAC GROUP – ASX MGR, MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP INCORPORATED, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ORD MINNETT GROUP LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Rio warns aluminium on thin ice

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 2-Aug-19

Rio Tinto has posted an underlying after-tax profit of $US4.9bn for the first half of 2019, and underlying EBITDA of $US10.25bn. The result was underpinned by its iron ore division, whose underlying EBITDA was 33 per cent higher than previously at $US7.5bn. Meanwhile. CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques has warned that the future of the Gladstone and Newcastle aluminium smelters will be in doubt unless action is taken to address the energy crisis on Australia’s east coast. Rio Tinto shareholders will receive an interim dividend of $US1.51 per share and a special dividend of $US0.61.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, PACIFIC ALUMINIUM PTY LTD, OYU TOLGOI LLC

Little room for error as reporting season nears

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 25 : 24-Jul-19

The consensus forecast is for S&P/ASX 200 companies outside of the resources sector to post earnings per share growth of one per cent for 2018-19. Morgans Financial expects the August 2019 reporting season to generally exceed expectations, due primarily to the fact that earnings forecasts have been downgraded so much. Andrew Tang of Morgans favours stocks such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Telstra and A2 Milk. He says Suncorp, Spark Infrastructure, Computershare and REA Group are among the stocks whose 2018-19 earnings and future guidance may disappoint the market.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, THE A2 MILK COMPANY LIMITED – ASX A2M, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP – ASX SKI, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX ALL ORDINARIES INDEX