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

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

Shape of banks’ dividend recovery will be more U than V

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 & 18 : 24-Jul-20

Brendan Sproules of Citigroup expects Australia’s banks to resume paying dividends in the December quarter, at a reduced payout ratio of just 40 per cent. He does not expect banks’ payout ratios to return to pre-coronavirus levels until fiscal 2022. Westpac and the ANZ Bank recently put their interim dividends on hold, while Citigroup expects the Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank to withhold their dividends for the second half of 2019-20.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN

China pays more for iron ore

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 19-May-20

The iron ore price has risen by more than 13 per cent since the end of April, and futures pricing suggests that further gains are likely. The price of the steel input has been resilient during the coronavirus pandemic, due to factors such as continued strong demand for iron ore in China and the fact that major producer Brazil has been hit hard by the virus. Citigroup’s analysts expect the continued strong price of iron ore to result in the resources sector paying out $14.4bn in dividends for 2019-20. The banking sector in turn is tipped to pay out $14.7bn.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Westpac dividend chance good as zero

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 6-May-20

Victor German of Macquarie and Matthew Wilson from Evans & Partners are among the analysts who do not expect Westpac to pay an interim dividend for 2019-20. However, German believes that Westpac could pay a final dividend of $0.40 per share, and Wilson forecasts a payout of $0.35. Brendan Sproules of Citigroup is more bullish, forecasting a final dividend of $0.65. Citi has a share price target of $26 for Westpac.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, EVANS AND PARTNERS ASIA FUND – ASX EAF, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

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

Bad debts hang over Westpac dividend plans

Original article by James Frost, Aleks Vickovich, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 19 : 4-May-20

Westpac’s dividend payout is likely to be a key focus for investors when its half-year financial results are released on 4 May. Westpac has already advised of $1.6bn in impairment charges for coronavirus-related loan losses. Matt Williams of Airlie Funds Management says Westpac should not pay an interim dividend, arguing that investors expect companies to preserve capital in the current environment. David Walker of Clime Asset Management in turn expects Westpac to pay a much lower half-year dividend and opt for a dividend reinvestment plan.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AIRLIE FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, CLIME ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

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