CBA investors brace for lower payout

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 10-Aug-20

The consensus of analysts is that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s 2019-20 cash earnings will be 10 per cent lower than previously, at $7.6bn. UBS expects the coronavirus pandemic to prompt CBA to increase its impairment charges for the second half to $1.9bn, which includes a $1.5bn COVID-related provision that the bank announced earlier in the year. Meanwhile, UBS forecasts that CBA shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.95 per share, which would be in line with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s revised guidance.

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

Miners urged to resist dividends

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 : 27-Jul-20

Scott Grimley of EY says Australian mining companies should reinvest in their business using ‘windfall’ profits from the rising price of gold and iron ore. He cites the need to invest in technological innovations in particular, noting that a report from EY in 2019 concluded that implementing new technologies could boost productivity by 9-23 per cent. Grimley has emphasised the importance of growth as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
ERNST AND YOUNG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Investors need to mind the looming earnings gap

Original article by Luke Housego
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 16-Jun-20

The coronavirus pandemic is set to weigh on the financial results of Australian-listed companies, with Morgan Stanley noting that the consensus forecast is for earnings to fall by 15.2 per cent in 2020. The average 12-month forward price-earnings ratios for the S&P/ASX 200 was 18.1 times before the recent sell-off, compared with a long-term average of around 14 times. Jason Steed of Morgan Stanley says a relatively small shift in earnings expectations when P/E ratios are high can prompt a sharp fall in share prices.

CORPORATES
MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX

Put reform on fast track: Westpac

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 5-May-20

Westpac has reported cash earnings of $993m for the first half of 2019-20, which is 70 per cent lower than previously. As previously flagged, the half-year result was marred by impairment charges totalling $2.23bn, including some $1.6bn for coronavirus-related loan losses. Westpac has deferred a decision on the payment of an interim dividend, while CEO Peter King has urged the national cabinet to move quickly to restart the economy when the pandemic abates. He has forecast a V-shaped economic recovery in 2021.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Prepare for drawn-out downturn

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 1-May-20

The ANZ Bank has posted an interim cash profit of $1.41bn, which is 60 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by impairment charges totalling $1.7bn, while a decision on its half-year dividend will be deferred until August due to uncertainty regarding the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. ANZ’s common equity tier one ratio has fallen to 10.8 per cent, compared with 11.5 per cent a year ago. Meanwhile, CEO Shayne Elliott says the Australian economy is unlikely to experience a V-shaped recovery.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Virus-plagued NAB seeks $3.5bn

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 28-Apr-20

National Australia Bank has posted a 2019-20 interim net profit of $1.3bn, compared with $2.7bn previously. Loan impairments rose to $1.2bn due to a sharp increase in provisions due to the coronavirus, while NAB has reduced its interim dividend from $0.83 per share to just $0.30. NAB shares were suspended from trading on 27 April pending a $3.5bn capital raising, which comprises a $3bn institutional placement and a $500m share purchase plan. Meanwhile, NAB is bearish about the outlook for the economy and unemployment in the near-term.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Businesses buffeted in sea of uncertainty

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 17-Mar-20

A growing number of Australian-listed companies are abandoning their recently-issued earnings guidance in response to the coronavirus. They include Cochlear, which has warned that hearing implants will be a low priority for the healthcare sector in terms of elective surgery when the virus is eventually contained. Challenger Limited, Auckland International Airport and oOh!Media are among the other companies that have withdrawn their earnings guidance. In contrast, The Reject Shop has advised that its sales have risen strongly year-on-year amid panic buying by consumers.

CORPORATES
COCHLEAR LIMITED – ASX COH, CHALLENGER LIMITED – ASX CGF, AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED – ASX AIA, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

Nine to give sport, movies the chop

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Feb-20

Nine Entertainment Company has reported a 2019-20 interim net profit of $101.9m, which is 41 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by write-downs totalling $75.2m. The Nine Network’s underlying earnings fell by 36 per cent to $103.5m and revenue was six per cent lower at $531.2m, while earnings from its digital and publishing assets rose by seven per cent to $46.7m. Nine CEO Hugh Marks has flagged cost cuts of $100m at the Nine Network over the next three years.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED

China will act quickly to spur economy: Rio

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 27-Feb-20

Rio Tinto has reported underlying earnings of $US10.37bn ($15.77bn) for 2019. The result was bolstered by a strong rise in the iron ore price; the group’s average received price was 37 per cent higher than in 2018. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has warned that both the Chinese and global economies will be adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the March quarter. However, CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques expects the Chinese government to pursue stimulus measures, which will in turn boost demand for commodities. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $US2.31 per share.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Slowing sales hit Woolies earnings

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Feb-20

Woolworths has posted a 2019-20 interim net profit of $887m, which is 7.7 per cent lower than previously. The retail giant’s half-year accounts included an $80m hit from its wage underpayments scandal. Woolworths has advised that its wage remediation costs have blown out to $315m, plus $80 million in interest payments. Meanwhile, CEO Brad Banducci notes that the group’s sales have been impacted by the coronavirus, particularly in suburbs that have a high proportion of Asian consumers and students from China.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW