MID MORNING MARKETS 28-08-8

The ASX200 is up 37 points in mid-morning trade, with relief in US-Mexico trade agreement. Most sectors up. Banks on fire. TLS and staples down. Results APX, BVS, BKL. SDA & CTX. Ex-div AWC 11.6c, LLC 35.0c, NCM 14.9c, STO 4.7c, WOR 15.0c. #ausbiz

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TODAY

  • Ex-dividend – Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ATL) 3.0c, Alumina (AWC) 11.6c, CMI 3.0c, Evolution Mining (EVN) 4.0c, Fiducian Group (FID)11.0c, Glennon Small Companies (GC1) 3.0c, LendLease (LLC) 35.0c, Mainstream Group Holdings (MAI) 1.0c, Newcrest Mining (NCM) 14.9c, Santos (STO) 4.7c, Wagners Holding Company (WGN) 3.5c, WorleyParsons (WOR) 15.0c

TONIGHT

  • US economic data – Adv. International Trade in Goods, Adv. Wholesale Inventories, S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Consumer Confidence

COMPANY NEWS

  • Appen Group (APX) – 1H resultsRevenue rose 106% to $152.8M, including 47% organic revenue growth; Underlying EBITDA of $25.6M up 100%, statutory EBITDA of $23.9m up 87%1; EBITDA margins remain high but were impacted by the change in Language Resource mix of work in the period; Underlying NPAT of $17.8M up 119%, statutory NPAT of $14.0m up 73%2; Strong cash conversion (84% of underlying EBITDA.); Half year dividend of 4.0 cps, up 33% on 1H 2017; Strong revenue growth and margin expansion for Content Relevance; Leapforce performing strongly and integration on schedule; The Company’s underlying EBITDA for the year ending Dec 31st 2018 is forecast to be in the range $54M – $59M (at A$1 = US$0.80.)
  • Blackmores (BKL) – Record full year revenue up 9% to $601m; NPAT up 19% to $70m; Blackmores announces strategic acquisition of CSIRO-endorsed, clinically trialled weight management program Impromy™; Final dividend of 155 cents per share, bringing total ordinary dividends for the year to 305 cents per share (fully franked), 13% up on prior year; Dividend reinvestment plan reactivated to support funding of growth initiatives including the acquisition of Catalent Australia’s manufacturing facility in 2019
  • Caltex (CTX) – 1H 2018 Historic Cost Profit (HCOP) NPAT up 45% to $383 million, including inventory gains of $87 million after tax; 1H 2018 Replacement Cost Profit (RCOP) NPAT up 1% to $296 million, which is within guidance and includes the combined negative impacts of a lower Caltex Refiner Margin (CRM), lower retail fuel margin impacted by rising crude and product prices, and the impact of the ongoing transition of franchise sites to company operations; Fuels & Infrastructure EBIT up 9% to $314 million, despite lower refining margins. Total volumes up 12% to 10.2BL in 1H 2018, including a 3.5% increase in domestic sales (Retail and Wholesale) to 8.4BL, and an 87% increase in international volume to 1.8BL; Convenience Retail EBIT of $161m, down 14% as a result of the impact of rising crude and product prices in 2018, versus falling prices in 2017 and ongoing store transitions; Interim dividend of 57.0c (fully franked) declared, representing a payout ratio of 50.3%.
  • Speedcast (SDA) – Results and Acquisition. Group revenue grew 24% to US$304.9m; Underlying EBITDA grew 14% to US$60.4m; EBITDA margin down 180bp to 19.8% (1H 2017: 21.6%) due to dilution from the UltiSat acquisition in November 2017, phase 1 of the NBN contract, a one-time investment in a key Cruise customer relationship in 1H 2018, and the delay in recovery of the Energy market; Underlying NPATA grew 37% to US$21.1m; Strong operating cash flows (89% of Underlying EBITDA) generated as a result of improved working capital discipline; Net debt increased from US$388m at 31 December 2017 to US$430m at 30 June 2018 as a result of investment in growth including debt refinancing costs and US$20 million for the UltiSat acquisition earnout; Interim dividend of $2.40c. Will also acquire Globecomm Systems Inc from affiliates of HPS Investment Partners, LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC for an estimated net purchase consideration of US$135m, on a cash & debt free basis
  • Bravura (BVS) – Group FY18 revenue increased 15% to A$221.5m (A$191.9m in FY17); Group FY18 EBITDA increased 18% to A$38.6m (A$32.6m in FY17); Group FY18 underlying NPAT increased 27% to A$27.0m (A$21.4m1in FY17); Group FY18 underlying EPS increased 27% to 12.6cps; Final unfranked dividend declared of 4.5cps. Guidance – Full-year 2019 EPS growth is expected to be in the mid-teens.
  • Nufarm (NUF) – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has deregulated Nuseed’s proprietary omega-3 canola for cultivation in the United States. Long-chain omega-3 DHA and EPA are essential for human and fish health. This new proprietary product aims to help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are the current sources of these important nutrients. By providing a proven land-based source of these oils, Nuseed will help maintain adequate supply to meet increasing global demand for long chain omega-3s. The approval was at the early end of NUF’s expectations
  • RCR Tomlinson (RCR) – Results and Capital Raising. Revenue up 58% to $2.0bn; Stat loss of $16.1m, Loss largely driven by cost overruns experienced on the Daydream and Hayman Solar Farms project; Underlying EBIT loss of $4.2m including cumulative write-downs of $57 million from tendered margin on the Project. FY19 guidance of Underlying EBIT $40-$48m (reflecting the adoption of AASB 15, which is estimated to reduce Underlying EBIT by $8 million to $10 million on a comparable basis with AASB 111 – no impact to cash flows). Also $100m underwritten pro-rata accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer of fully paid ordinary shares in RCR (“Entitlement Offer”) to strengthen balance sheet.
  • CIMIC Group (CIM) – Has won a $140m Philippines tollway project.

OVERNIGHT

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SPI FUTURES +25

US EQUITIES – S&P500 +22 (+0.77%), Dow Jones +259 (+1.01%), Nasdaq +72 (+0.91%).

Main themes

US and Mexico reached a trade deal, replacing NAFTA

EUROPEAN MARKETS – German DAX +1.16%, French CAC +0.86%. UK market closed due to bank holiday.

CURRENCIES

  • The US dollar was down 0.4% at 94.76.
  • The Aussie dollar is drifting higher to 73.52.

BONDS – 2-yr: +4 bps to 2.65%, 5-yr: +2 bps to 2.75%, 10-yr: +2 bps to 2.85%, 30-yr: +2 bps to 3.00%

COMMODITIES

  • WTI crude futures closed up 15c at US$68.72 a barrel. The OPEC/non-OPEC compliance rate eased to 109%, from 120% in June and 147% in May, in line with plans to get back to 100% compliance with the production cuts that started in January 2017.
  • Iron Ore – IRESS reports iron ore unchanged at US$67.00 a tonne. The CommSec site says China Import (Fines 62% Fe) was down US55c at US$65.85/dry ton. (CFR Tianjin port)
  • LME metals – The LME was closed due to the bank holiday

ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS

  • US-Mexico trade deal – The new agreement calls for 40-45% of auto content to be made by workers who earn an average base wage of $16/hour. The requirement for US and regional content in autos would be increased to 75.0% from 62.5%.
  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie spoke of establishing a payment system to circumvent US sanctions against Iran, echoing remarks from German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz last Friday
  • European data – German ifo Business Climate Index 103.8 (expected 101.9; last 101.7). August Current Assessment 106.4 (expected 105.4; last 105.3) and Business Expectations 101.2 (expected 98.4; last 98.2); French Jobseekers total 3.462m(last 3.443m)
  • China Securities Journal reported that Chinese export growth may slow to about 2.0%yoy during the second half of 2018.
  • Japan – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared his candidacy for LDP’s leadership election on September 20.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Our discomfort with female leadership runs deep. We call little girls bossy. We never really call little boys bossy, because a boy is expected to lead, so it doesn’t surprise or offend.” Sheryl Sandberg, American businesswoman born this day in 1969

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