Good day for the market. It is up 51. The SFE Futures were up 23 this morning.

Wall St. finished 82 higher. The Dow was up 98 at best and down 1 at worst. Metals did a bit better overnight and oil rebounded. Gold price was also up as was the Aussie dollar.

ExxonMobil signed a $50bn LNG supply deal for the WA Gorgon gas project with the Chinese in Beijing last night worth $50bn over 20 years. No Chinese government officials attended the ceremony although the Australian Resources and Energy Minister did.

Summary of today’s results.

  • Woodside Petroleum — (WPL) — slightly higher than expectations – Underlying profit, which strips out one-off gains or losses, fell 11% to $898m. Consensus was $880m. The company declared a 55c per share (fully franked) interim dividend down from 80c 1H08. WPL up 3.7% to 4431c.
  • CSL Limited (CSL) — Better than expected — NPAT of $1.15bn up 63% and ahead of consensus of $1.03bn. They say growth in demand for plasma is expected to continue. Forecasts 14-24% growth for the year ahead. CSL up 0.5% to 3376c.
  • Macmahon (MAH) — NPAT in line … down 65% to $17.2m hit by one-offs and a drop in demand for mining services and they say sales are expected to fall this year. The comment that they are “Well placed to make a strong profit recovery in 2011” is hardly inspiring. MAH up 3.5% to 59c.
  • Qantas (QAN) — Higher end of company guidance — Reported NPAT down 88% to $117m. However Pretax profit OK at $181m compared to consensus of $143m and previous FY09 guidance of $100-200m. They have provided no guidance for 2010 which highlights the volatility of earnings which are impacted by fuel costs, currency and global economic growth. Up 40% in 5 weeks. QAN up 5.4% today to 274c.
  • Boral (BLD) — Solid — Underlying profit down 47% to $131m ahead of some brokers forecasts of $110-120m. Dividend at 5.5c below some estimates of 7.5c but it’s not an income stock. No guidance given (not good). BLD up 3.7% to 587c.
  • The Reject Shop (TRS) — Ahead of expectations. NPAT up 21% to $19.0m. Guidance was for $18.6-18.8m. Guidance for up 14% this year. Patersons target price is 1600c up 17% on current price. They have a BUY.
  • TRS down 0.4% to 1366c.
  • Iluka (ILU) — Not good — Interim loss of $55.8m versus a $15.6m profit last year. Says zircon sales will fall from 437,000 tons to 200-250,000 tons. No dividend citing tough operating conditions. Patersons say there is little reason to be in the stock at the moment. ILU up 6.0% to 355c.
  • Origin (ORG) — Underlying NPAT up 20% to $530m from $443m. Has begun the year well. $5.3bn of cash after the $6.7bn gain on the sale of coal seam gas assets in JV with ConocoPhillips. Final dividend 25c. ORG down 0.9%.

Broker Stuff in brief…

  • Santos cut to Neutral from Outperform due to recent share price appreciation. They have a 1650c target price.
  • United Group following its result yesterday — Credit Suisse ups target price to 1390c from 1260c, Citi to 1300c from 1100c and RBS Equities to 1546c from 965c.
  • Credit Suisse cuts Commonwealth Property (CPA) to Underperform from Neutral and its target price to 73c after it result yesterday.
  • Monadelphous upgraded to Hold from Sell and target price to 1284c by GSJB Were describing the stock as now being “fair value”.

The Dow Futures were down 27 at midday.

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

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