Westpac challenged on growth

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 23 : 7-Nov-18

Credit Suisse and Bell Potter have upgraded their earnings forecasts for Westpac following the release of the bank’s latest full-year financial results. Credit Suisse expects Westpac’s cash profit to rise to $8.29bn in 2018-19, after a flat profit of $8.07bn for 2017-18. Meanwhile, Macquarie Group and Morgan Stanley have reduced their earnings-per-share forecasts, and Victor German of Macquarie expects Westpac’s earnings growth in 2018-19 to be "negligible".

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Westpac not wedded to advice arm

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 6-Nov-18

Westpac has posted a cash profit of $8.07bn for the year o 30 September, which is in line with the previous financial year. Its consumer banking division’s earnings were flat, although its business banking arm performed well. Meanwhile, CEO Brian Hartzer says Westpac remains committed to its BT Financial division, although he says the bank may be willing to consider divesting its in-house financial planning business. Westpac boasted 803 salaried and aligned financial planners at the end of the financial year.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MLC LIMITED, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, SWITZER DIVIDEND GROWTH FUND (MANAGED FUND) – ASX SWT, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Big four feel royal commission fallout

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 21 : 6-Nov-18

Australia’s four largest banks have reported a combined profit of $29.5bn for 2017-18, which is 5.5 per cent lower than previously. Tim Dring of Ernst & Young notes that the big four banks are facing challenges such as a slowing housing market, customer remediation costs and the impact of the financial services royal commission. However, he adds that the banks are also benefiting from a sharp fall in bad and doubtful debts.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, ERNST AND YOUNG, SWITZER DIVIDEND GROWTH FUND (MANAGED FUND) – ASX SWT, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Rinehart claims she sits top of nation’s tax table

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 2-Nov-18

The annual report of Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting shows that its profit rose by 28 per cent to $1.37m in 2017-18, with revenue from its Roy Hill iron ore project rising from $4.45bn to more than $6bn. Hancock paid $860 million in federal and state taxes during 2017-18, compared with $698m in the previous financial year, and it has paid $5 billion in taxes over the last eight years. Rinehart has issued a statement claiming that she pays more tax than any other Australian.

CORPORATES
HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, ATLAS IRON LIMITED – ASX AGO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK BEEF, S KIDMAN AND COMPANY PTY LTD, SIRIUS MINERALS PLC, RIVERSDALE RESOURCES LIMITED, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, WRIGHT PROSPECTING PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

NAB goes back to business for growth

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 2-Nov-18

National Australia Bank has posted cash earnings of $5.7bn for 2017-18, which is 14 per cent lower than previously. Cash earnings for the year to 30 September fell by two per cent when restructuring costs and customer remediation charges are excluded. NAB’s consumer and wealth management division’s earnings fell by 5.8 per cent, although its business and private banking division’s earnings rose 2.5 per cent. CEO Andrew Thorburn is upbeat about NAB’s earnings outlook.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, ARNHEM INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, MLC LIFETIME COMPANY LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

ANZ warns of more housing pain to come as profit sinks by 5pc

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 1-Nov-18

The ANZ Bank has posted a 2017-18 cash net profit of $6.49bn, which is five per cent lower than previously. Revenue for the year to 30 September declined by 1.4 per cent and ANZ’s net interest margin fell from 1.99 per cent to 1.87 per cent. CEO Shayne Elliott expects a further downturn in residential property prices, although he adds that the housing market’s fundamentals remain strong and a significant decline is unlikely. ANZ shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.80 per share, and a full-year payout of $1.60.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CONCENTRATED LEADERS FUND LIMITED – ASX CLF, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

The big banks facing a full-year profit hit

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 29-Oct-18

The consensus of analysts is that the ANZ Bank will post a cash profit of $6.2bn for the year to 30 September, down from $6.9bn previously. National Australia Bank’s full-year cash profit is tipped to fall from $6.64bn to $5.47bn, but Westpac’s cash profit is forecast to rise from $8.06bn previously to $8.13bn. Factors such as customer remediation costs and falling net interest margins are expected to weigh on the earnings of the three big banks. The Commonwealth Bank’s cash profit for the year to 30 June fell by 4.7 per cent to $9.4bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

AGL could face savage hit to earnings

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 25-Oct-18

Morgan Stanley estimates that the federal government’s proposed measures to reduce electricity prices could potentially slash the 2020 EBITDA of AGL Energy and Origin Energy by up to $361m and $426m respectively. Matthew Blumberg of Hayberry Global Fund adds that government intervention in the electricity sector could in fact result in reduced competition and enable the major players to increase their market share.

CORPORATES
MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, HAYBERRY GLOBAL FUND, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CLP HOLDINGS LIMITED, CITIGROUP INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR

ME boss tips two years of house price weakness

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 25-Sep-18

ME Bank has reported a statutory net profit of $89.1m, which is 43.9 per cent higher than previously, while its underlying earnings rose 13 per cent to $96.5m. CEO Jamie McPhee does not expect a significant fall in house prices, although he says prices are likely to ease slightly over the next two years. McPhee adds that the revelations of the banking royal commission do not appear to have had much impact on ME Bank’s customer numbers and deposit inflows.

CORPORATES
ME BANK, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Shutdowns to hit China coal hardest

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 19-Sep-18

New Hope Corporation has posted a 2017-18 underlying profit of $253m, which is 96 per cent higher than previously. The result was underpinned by higher commodity prices and increased production. Meanwhile, CEO Shane Stephan forecasts that demand for Australian coal will remain strong over the next six months, despite looming industrial production cutbacks in China. He argues that the traditional winter shutdown in China primarily reduces demand for local rather than imported coal, which tends to be of higher quality.

CORPORATES
NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO