Bonanza for iron ore miners

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 21-Apr-21

Rio Tinto’s quarterly production report shows that its iron ore exports from the Pilbara totalled 77.79 million tonnes in the first three months of 2021, an increase of seven per cent year-on-year. Peter O’Connor of Shaw & Partners expects Rio Tinto to post an underlying profit of $US17.69bn ($22.7bn) for calendar 2021, eclipsing its record profit of $US15.5bn in 2011. The strength of the iron ore price during the March quarter has boosted the profits of Australia’s five biggest producers of the steel input. The iron ore price recently reached its highest level in more than nine years.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

BHP booms with $6.5bn payout

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 17-Feb-21

BHP has reported a net profit of $US3.88bn for the first half of 2020-21, which is 20 per cent lower than previously. However, underlying net profit rose 15.4 per cent to $US6bn, while the resources group will return some $US5.1bn to shareholders via a record interim dividend of $US1.01 per share. BHP is bullish about the outlook for the iron ore price, forecasting that a significant pullback would require reduced demand from China and/or increased supply from Brazil. BHP’s iron ore division has posted underlying EBIT of $US9.32bn for the half-year, compared with $US6.34bn for the previous corresponding period.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Dividends on way back up: Argo

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 9-Feb-21

Argo Investments has posted a 2020-21 interim profit of 67m, which is 43 per cent lower than previously. The listed investment company’s half-year result was impacted by lower dividend income, with many companies scaling back their payouts in response to the COVID-pandemic. Argo MD Jason Beddow expects many companies to announce an increase in their dividend payouts during the February reporting season. However, he doubts that dividends will return to pre-coronavirus levels. He says banks and retailers are among the companies that could significantly boost their dividend payouts for the second half.

CORPORATES
ARGO INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX ARG

Price boom powers big iron’s profits

Original article by Sarah Turner, Jenny Wiggins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 18-Jan-21

The spot price of iron ore peaked at $US172.36 a tonne during the week ended 15 January. Milford Asset Management’s William Curtayne says earnings forecasts for Australia’s major iron ore producers will need to be significantly upgraded if the price of the steel input remains at around $US165/tonne. Jason Teh of Vertium Asset Management also anticipates strong growth in dividend payouts at BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group, as well as the potential for special dividends and share buybacks. The surging price of iron ore will also boost federal government revenue.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, MILFORD ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

CBA profits cut despite growth in lending

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 12-Nov-20

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has reported a cash profit of $1.8bn for the September quarter, which is 16 per cent lower than previously. Household deposits increased by $15.8bn during the first three months of 2020-21, while mortgage lending increased by $5.6bn. CBA has advised that its net interest margin was lower than in the second half of 2019-20, primarily due to the impact of lower interest rates. CBA has also reported a sharp fall in the number of deferred loans since the end of the September quarter.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

NAB takes virus hit, digs in to aid recovery

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 26 : 6-Nov-20

National Australia Bank has posted a cash profit of $3.7bn for the year to 30 September, which is 37 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by credit impairment charges totalling $2.76bn, including a provision of $1.86bn for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.30 per share and a full-year payout of $0.60. NAB shares closed 3.2 per cent higher at $19.31 on 5 November.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Gina Rinehart’s wealth soars as Hancock Prospecting reports $4b profit

Original article by Nick Toscano
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 5-Nov-20

Hancock Prospecting has reported a 2019-20 after-tax profit of $4bn, compared with $2.6bn previously. The company benefited from the strong price of iron ore during the financial year. Hancock’s iron ore assets include the Roy Hill mine and a 50 per cent stake in the Hope Downs joint venture. Hancock also controls Atlas Iron, which operates the Mt Webber iron ore mine in the Pilbara. Meanwhile, Hancock has paid a maiden dividend of $475m and repaid a $US7.2bn ($10.1bn) debt some four months ahead of schedule.

CORPORATES
HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, ATLAS IRON LIMITED

No benefit in rate cut: ANZ chief

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 30-Oct-20

The ANZ Bank has posted a net profit of $3.58bn for the year to 30 September, which is 40 per cent lower than previously. The result was primarily marred by a blowout in impairment charges, which rose to $2.74bn. Shareholders will receive a full-year dividend of $0.60 per share, compared with $1.60 in 2019-20. Meanwhile, CEO Shayne Elliott says a further reduction in official interest rates is unlikely to do much to stimulate the economy, as financial markets already have sufficient liquidity. The Reserve Bank is widely tipped to reduce the cash rate on 3 November.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Valuer Acumentis predicts rise in distressed sales

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 32 : 30-Oct-20

Listed valuation firm Acumentis has reported revenue of $13.4 million for the September quarter, compared with just $8.4 million for the entire 2019-20 financial year. The firm has posted a pre-tax profit of $1.6 million for the quarter. Acumentis notes that it is benefiting from an improvement in residential activity, while it predicts an increase in forced home sales as JobKeeper payments and mortgage repayment deferral periods end.

CORPORATES
ACUMENTIS GROUP LIMITED – ASX ACU

Analysts tip $11bn profits for banks in messy accounting year

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 26-Oct-20

The ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank will report their financial results for the year to 30 September in the next two weeks. Analysts expect Australia’s major banks to book a combined profit of about $11bn, with the Commonwealth Bank having reported its full-year results in August. The full-year results will be affected by factors such as remediation charges, asset sales and Westpac’s recent settlement with Austrac.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA