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

Dividend payouts fall 50pc in quarter

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 23-Nov-20

Data from Janus Henderson shows that Australian-listed companies paid out $US9.6bn ($13.4bn) worth of dividends in the September quarter, which is 47.8 per cent lower than the same period in 2019. This was primarily due to reduced dividends from three of the major banks, while a number of companies chose to withhold dividends. Jane Shoemake of Janus Henderson says payout ratios in Australia were too high and a "reset" was needed. Janus Henderson expects dividend payouts to rise in the second quarter of 2021.

CORPORATES
JANUS HENDERSON GROUP PLC – ASX JHG

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

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

Dividend doubt as Westpac flags profit hit

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

Westpac has advised that its financial results for the second half of 2019-20 will be marred by $1.22bn worth of write-downs and impairment charges. This includes a $406m write-down of its life insurance business and a $415m increase in provision for its settlement with Austrac for breaching anti-money laundering laws. Westpac will also incur an additional $104m in costs associated with its customer remediation program. UBS expects Westpac to pay a final dividend of $0.35 per share, after withholding its interim payout due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Whitehaven won’t alter dividend policy despite setbacks

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 26-Oct-20

Whitehaven Coal’s lenders recently agreed to relax its debt covenants after the company sought relief due to a severe downturn in coal prices. However, a condition of that relaxation will constrain the company’s ability to pay dividends until its debt levels fall below certain thresholds. Whitehaven had paid out a record final dividend of $298 million in August 2019, and chairman Mark Vaile says he has no regrets about the payment. He says the company may need to be a bit more conservative about capital management in the future, while he notes that the 2019 payout followed two successive years of record profits.

CORPORATES
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC

Fortescue to deliver Forrest record pay-out

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 24-Aug-20

The consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg is that Fortescue Metals Group will post a record underlying profit of $US4.7bn ($6.6bn) for 2019-20, and a final dividend of $0.90 per share. Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest is set to receive more than $1bn in dividends for the second half, and about $1.85bn for the full year. This compares with a total distribution of $1.24bn in 2018-19. Forrest and his wife are significant donors to a range of philanthropic causes via their Minderoo Foundation.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, MINDEROO FOUNDATION

Results so far are a shot in the arm for investors

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 23 : 20-Aug-20

The S&P/ASX 200 has gained two per cent since the start of the August reporting season. Investors have responded positively to earning results, dividend payouts and outlook guidance, as well as a rally in the S&P 500 and the continued strength of commodity prices. Indeed, dividend announcements were a common factor among many stocks that outperformed on 19 August; likewise, a lack of dividend payments contributed to some stocks being sold down.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S 500 INDEX