MID AFTERNOON MARKETS 29-04-19

The ASX 200 is down 27 points in mid-afternoon trade despite a strong run on Friday nights. Gold, HCare and Materials ↑ while Energy and Banks ↓. COL Q ok, Z1P Q also +ve, VEA warning. Chilcare boost for GEM. Big week ahead. #ausbiz

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TODAY

Japanese market will be closed for Golden Week.

TONIGHT

European – Loan growth, consumer and business confidence.


COMPANY NEWS

  • Coles (COL) – Supermarket sales grew 3.2% in the third quarter of the 2019 financial year, supported by a successful Fresh Stikeez’ promotional campaign which drove high customer engagement; Coles Online growth of 27%, with sales of over $1 billion on a rolling 12-month basis; Liquor comparable sales adjusted for New Year’s Eve (NYE) timing increased 0.9%, with continued strong growth in Exclusive Liquor Brands in the wine category; Strong growth in Coles Express food-to-go despite the impact of year-on-year fuel volume declines

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  • WorleyParsons (WOR) – Changing brand name to Worley (and official name after AGM in October) after completing the US$3.2 billion (A$4.55 billion) acquisition of Jacobs ECR.
  • Seek (SEK) – Investment in 2 high growth global online education businesses: FutureLearn and Coursera; New investments are market leaders that partner with world class higher education institutions and global businesses and have attracted a combined c49m learners; Highly aligned with SEEK’s strategy and existing online education investments (OES, Caelum and Utel); Leveraged to long-term structural trends such as growth in online education and micro-credentialing to meet evolving labour market needs; SEEK to utilise its deep expertise in scaling up online education and marketplaces to support future growth across its online education portfolio; SEEK acquired 50% of FutureLearn for a purchase price of cA$92m and acquired a minority interest in Coursera for a purchase price of cA$50m; Both transactions are primary raisings with proceeds used to accelerate growth
  • Zip (Z1P) – Q report. Record quarterly revenue of $23.0m, up 20% on Q2; Receivables increased to $565.3m, up 16% on Q2; Transaction volume of $281.4m, up 107% year on year. Transaction volume for March back above $100m levels; Customer numbers increased to 1.2 million, up 143k in the quarter, an increase of 14% on Q2; Market-leading credit performance with net bad debts 1.75%, down from 1.81% in Q2; Operating leverage continues with scale – costs (as a percentage of average receivables), fell from 16.1% in Q2 to 15.5% in Q3; Raised $56.7 million (before costs) in equity capital; Signed wholesale agreement with global payments provider Adyen, allowing them to market Zip to their Australian clients; Chemist Warehouse, General Pants and Lorna Jane joined the platform, with a strong enterprise pipeline going into Q3.; Zip officially launched in New Zealand, supporting the roll out of Super Retail Group
  • Orica (ORI) – Expects to recognise approximately $191 million ($134 million after tax) in non-cash adjustments in its 2019 first half results announcement scheduled for 9 May 2019. Relates to write-down of the Burrup Technical Ammonium Nitrate (TAN) plant defective components and impairment of IT and Other Assets
  • GPT Group (GPT) – MarQ Operational Update. The Group undertook a US$400 million (A$559 million) US Private Placement (USPP) debt issuance for an average term of 12.9 years at a margin of 170 basis points over 3 month BBSW. Settlement is expected to occur on 25 July 2019; Office leases of 47,000 square metres (sqm) signed during the quarter, and maintained office portfolio occupancy of 97.1 per cent; Completed the sale of the Group’s 50 per cent interest in MLC Centre for $800 million, representing a 3 per cent premium to 31 December 2018 book value; Successfully opened the $432 million Sunshine Plaza retail expansion (GPT ownership: 50 per cent); Total Centre comparable MAT growth of 1.3 per cent (2.4 per cent at 31 December 2018); Total Retail Specialty comparable MAT growth of 1.9 per cent (3.6 per cent at 31 December 2018); Retail specialty sales of $11,480 per square metre (psqm) ($11,460 psqm at 31 December 2018); Logistics leases of 33,000 sqm signed during the quarter, and occupancy of 94.4 per cent (97.2 per cent at 31 December 2018).
  • ALS (ALQ) – Has sold its environmental and analytical testing business in China for USD$57.3m. “Given the relatively small size of the business, an increasingly fragmented market, and the absence of a platform for vertical integration, ALS believes its capital will be more efficiently allocated in the longer term if invested to align with our dedicated strategy to expand into the Food and Pharmaceutical sectors into other geographies in Asia, Europe, and North and South America”
  • Transurban (TCL) – Investor Day

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  • Ausdrill (ASL) – Confirming it is considering a potential issue of US$ denominated notes.
  • Viva Energy (VEA) – Refining Margin update. The actual GRM for March 2019 is US$6.5/BBL which reflects an improvement in regional refining margins, and in particular stronger gasoline cracks. Operational performance for March was strong with Crude Intake of 3.8 MBBLs and the site recording the highest ever monthly production of Diesel. The Retail segment has seen pressure on margins – Underlying EBITDA (RC) will be in the range of $30-$35 million through to the end of April 20193 (against the forecasted position as at that time, and on an unaudited basis).
  • Alumina Limited (AWC) – Copy of presentation by Andrew Wood at the CRU 24th Aluminium Conference held in London last week.

NEXT WEEK

  • Domestically, not a huge amount going on. Housing starts and new home sales. Macquarie equities conference, so we might have a few corporate updates and potentially guidance changes.
  • Japanese market will be closed for Golden Week.
  • Chinese Official PMI numbers and the Caixin manufacturing PMI.
  • Lots on in the US, with an FOMC meeting (99.5% chance of no change), employment data and ISM manufacturing index
  • European GDP (exp 0.1%/1.0%), unemployment and inflation
  • UK – Bank of England meeting

LAST WEEK

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FRIDAY NIGHT

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SPI FUTURES -2

US EQUITIES – S&P 500 +14 (+0.47%), Dow +81 (+0.31%), NASDAQ +28 (+0.34%).

Main themes –

  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite set new closing records
  • Amazon (+2.54%) up on strong earnings report
  • Advance estimate +3.2% for first quarter GDP tops expectations, shows muted inflation pressure
  • Weakness in the S&P 500 energy and information technology sectors; Exxon Mobil (-2.1%) and Intel (-8.99%) both fall on disappointing results/guidance
  • Oil prices -2.9% after President Trump told OPEC to keep fuel costs down

EUROPEAN MARKETS – Mostly higher. STOXX600 +0.22%, UK FTSE -0.08%, German DAX +0.27%, French CAC +0.21%.

CURRENCIES

  • The USD is little changed at 98.05
  • The Aussie dollar is a bit stronger at 70.41.

BONDS – 2-yr: -4 bps to 2.27%, 3-yr: -5 bps to 2.25%, 5-yr: -4 bps to 2.30%, 10-yr: -3 bps to 2.51%, 30-yr: -2 bps to 2.93%

COMMODITIES

  • Oil – WTI futures closed down US$1.91 or 2.9% to US$63.30 a barrel after President Trump said he told OPEC to take action to temper fuel costs. Earlier in the week the US said it will not extend waivers to santions on Iranian crude imports. During the week inventories rose 5.5mb this week to the highest levels since October 2017(exp +1.3mb)
  • Iron Ore – IRESS has the iron ore price unchanged at US$95.50 a tonne. CommSec reports iron ore was up US20c at U$94.80.
  • LME metals – Mostly higher. Copper +0.90%, nickel +0.77%, aluminium -0.70% the exception

ECONOMIC DATA, NEWS & POLITICS

  • US earnings – American Airlines (AAL), Archer-Daniels (ADM), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), Chevron (CVX), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Franklin Resources (BEN), Goodyear Tire (GT)
  • US economic data – Advance Q1 GDP 3.2% (consensus 1.9%; prior 2.2%) and Advance Q1 GDP Deflator 0.9% (consensus 1.4%; prior 1.7%); Final April Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey 97.2 (consensus 96.7; prior 96.9)
  • China – President Xi Jinping spoke at the Belt and Road Forum, reiterating his pledge to reform China. The Chinese president promised to not devalue the yuan in a way that harms others.
  • French tax cuts – President Emmanuel Macron announced significant tax cuts with a special focus on the middle class. The move is a response to months of protests that began after a diesel tax increase was announced in November.
  • Deutsche Bank reported Q1 results that showed an increase in profit coupled with a decrease in revenue.

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