The market is finishing the week off strongly — up another 58 today — the SFE Future were up 41 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 36. The Dow was up 45 at best and down 56 at worst. Metals had a strong session on the LME — Nickel was up nearly 5% — after Germany and France said they had unexpectedly come out of recession. Oil and gold both closed higher, and the Aussie dollar was up to 8421c compared to 83.33c yesterday morning.

Leighton Holdings (LEI) flying on the back of its profit result this morning. It announced a NPAT of $440m after significant items, the market was expected $422m and it was above company guidance of $430m. The share price is up 8.2%.

Making the news today…

  • PMP Ltd (PMP) has announced a FY09 NPAT of $18.2m, down 60.9%. No final dividend was declared. PMP up 1c to 56c. Continues to struggle in a tough environment and says conditions are likely to remain challenging in FY10.
  • Felix Resources (FLX) has received a takeover offer from China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. The offer consists of 1695c a share cash, a dividend of 100c a share and a share-based distribution worth 5c a share in Felix’s subsidiary, South Australian Coal Corp., bringing the total to 1800c a share. The board has unanimously recommended the offer meaning shareholder approval won’t be a problem. The deal will require FIRB approval.
  • Contractors having a huge day after Emeco Holdings (EHL) was bid for yesterday and WorleyParsons (WOR) was mentioned as a possible takeover target in today’s AFR. WOR up 5.6%, Boart Longyear (BLY) up 8.5% and Boom Logistic up 4.4%.
  • Crown’s JV venture Melco Crown Entertainment has raised $US200m by issuing American depositary shares. It closed overnight at $US5.15 on the NASDAQ. CWN down 2.13%.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) — Contact Energy (ORG owns 50.4%) has announced a sharp fall in FY net profit, down 50% to NZ$237.1m.
  • Crown’s JV venture Melco Crown Entertainment has raised $US200m by issuing American depositary shares.
  • Virgin Blue (VBA) says it has no idea why the share price is up recently. It doesn’t expect FY operating profit to vary more than 15%, in line with previous guidance. VBA last traded at 38c.
  • Airports (MAP) said underlying earnings for the six months at Sydney Airport increased by 2% from a last but has announced double digit falls at its 3 other core European airports. MAP up 5c to 244c.
  • Lend Lease (LLC) announced the acquisition of none aged care facilities and four retirement villages from Prime Retirement & Aged Care Property Trust (PTN) for $76.8m, excluding costs. LLC up 2.8% to 941c.
  • Carbon Energy (CNX) has lifted its trading halt and announces the sale of gold assets and spin off of listing of its uranium assets. CNX down 2.9% to 66c.

Also in the news…

  • Not a huge reaction from brokers this morning regarding Telstra’s result yesterday. One suggested the dividend could be lifted if free cash flow improved. It goes ex dividend 14c on the 24 August, Monday week.
  • It is the last day to buy Commonwealth Bank (CBA) before it goes ex dividend 115c on Monday. The stock is up 31.5% in a month. It is now up 110.6% from the low in January of 2407c. The bank sector is up 70.8% from its lows. The NAB is up 73% from its lows.
  • Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ) up 6% on talk Kerry Stokes is working on a full takeover.
  • Fifteen stocks have hit a fresh 52 week high this morning. Most notables include: ANZ Bank (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank (CBA), Cochlear (COH), Customers (CUS), Extract Resources (EXT), National Australia Bank (NAB), The Reject Shop (TRS) and Mincor Resources (MIN)

The Dow Futures are up 10 at midday.

MARCUS PADLEY is the Author of the MARCUS TODAY Daily Stockmarket Newsletter.

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