The market is up 7. The SFE Futures were up 45 this morning. Results dominating the headlines.

Wall St closed up 61 overnight. It recovered from early falls. The Dow was up 95 at best and down 86 at worst. The oil price was up on a big drop in US crude reserves, up 4.6% to $72.42. Gold was also stronger, up $5.60 to $945. The Aussie dollar was up slightly to 82.99c versus 82.63c yesterday morning. Very low volumes again.

The AFR was on the money this morning when it reported that Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG) may split into two separate listed entities and is also entertaining the separation from its manager (Macquarie Group), in a decision that will hopefully increase value for shareholders. MIG is looking to complete a similar deal to that of Macquarie Airports (MAP) announced earlier in the year. Meanwhile Macquarie Group is turning its attention to global asset management, announcing the $US428m acquisition of Delaware Investments yesterday.

A lot of companies have released their earnings numbers this morning. Some of the bigger ones include:

  • Wesfarmers — (WES) — In line with consensus — announced FY09 NPAT $1.54bn up 44%. Market expectations looked to be around $1.50bn. Revenue was up 52% to $50.98bn. This was boosted by the first full year contribution from Coles supermarkets, Target, Kmart and Officeworks. The company declared a final dividend of 60c per share fully franked which was well above previous guidance of 50c. WES down 4% after the result.
  • AMP Ltd (AMP) — Slightly better than expected — up 4.6% after announcing an underlying profit of $367m, consensus was for $357m. Outlook comments were a little vague.
  • Santos (STO) — Better than expected — up 0.8% on a 66% fall in profit to $101.7m with revenue falling 26% to $1.05bn. Outlook comments: reiterated its annual output target of 53m-56m barrels of oil equivalent.
  • ASX Ltd (ASX) — Slightly lower than expected — FY09 NPAT fell 14.3% to $313.6m, which looks slightly lower than the $323m expected by the market. It also declared a final dividend of 74.5c, down from 93.9c. ASX down 1.8% to 3547c.
  • QBE Insurance (QBE) — Better than expected — up 7% — announced a 19% increase in half year profits to $1.02bn. The result looked slightly better than market expectations of around $950m- $1.0b
  • Downer Group — (DOW) — BETTER THAN EXPECTED — announced FY09 NPAT was up 14% to a 189.4m. The result looked ahead of average net profit forecast of $174.1m. Patersons maintains its Buy recommendation.
  • Westpac Bank CEO Gail Kelly is among the 20 most powerful women in the world according to Forbes magazine, even more influential than Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton.
  • Domino’s Pizza (DMP), Downer EDI (DOW) after its profit result this morning, Flexigroup (FXL) and Programmed Maintenance (PRG) have all hit a fresh yearly high

The Dow Futures were up 6 overnight.

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

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

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