Good finish to the week. The market is up 29. The SFE Future were up 4 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 37 overnight. Closed up for the 8th consecutive session. Dow up 66 at best and down 84 at worst. Both oil and Gold closed higher, as did the Aussie dollar, up to 83.66c from 82.70c.

Results in Brief…

  • Harvey Norman (HVN) –up 10% – after its result came in ahead of expectations.
  • Sonic Healthcare (SHL) – Ahead of expectations – clean number of $315m versus consensus $302m. Conservative guidance reiterated. Up 8.9%]
  • Sims Metal Mgmt (SGM) – In line with recent guidance. Say they are seeing a pick up in demand but remain cautious. SGM down 3.05%.
  • Caltex Australia (CTX) – Results OK but no dividend and cautious outlook. Have scrapped their interim dividend in light of recent $300m acquisition of ExxonMobil filling stations. Despite that they made $298m against guidance of $270-295m. Refining margins to remain under pressure. CTX down 4.3%.

In other news…

  • ABB Grain (ABB) in a trading halt pending an announcement regarding earnings guidance revision. Last traded at 928c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) has formed a strategic alliance with China’s largest steel mill Baosteel. AQA up 9%.
  • Babcock & Brown Power (BBP) says talks with its lenders continuing. Trading halted lifted. Last traded at 6.9c.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) has acquired oil and gas sector specialist Western Construction Co. for around $60m. DOW up 4.6%.
  • Gunns (GNS) – trading halt – conducting talks on a possible acquisition. Last traded at 114.5c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has secured a $160m contact in the Pilbara. LEI up 25c.
  • Resolute Mining (RSG) – trading halt – pending capital raising.
  • Bigger stocks Ex Dividend today – COH (95c), SUN (20c), WOR (55c), HST (5c) Bigger stocks Ex Dividend on Monday (last day to buy for the dividend) – BHP (50.07c), MND (44c)
  • ANZ has a trading update on Monday.Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs today: Austbrokers (AUB), Downer EDI (DOW), Macquarie Group (MQG), Super Cheap Auto (SUL) and Toll Holdings (TOL).

Broker Stuff…

  • Citi has a Buy recommendation on Ramsay Health Care (RHC) with a 1240c target price saying RHC is trading at a 17% discount to the All Industrials which is below RHC’s 5 year average discount of 4%.
  • RBS Equities has a Buy on Austbrokers Holdings (AUB) and upped target price to 638c from 509c saying it has a solid growth outlook.
  • Macquarie cut GPT Group to Neutral from Outperform with a 55c target price. They now believe the restructuring is now reflected in the share price.
  • RBS Equities has a Buy on Super Cheap Auto Group (SUL) and upped target price to 526c from 436c on the back of its FY result.
  • GSJB Were ups Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN) to Buy from Hold with a $10 target price.
  • Citi have a Hold on Cabcharge Australia (CAB) and upped its target price to 590c from 569c after its result.
  • GSJB Were has removed Nufarm (NUF) from its Conviction Buy List after cutting its recommendation to Hold from buy.

The Dow Futures are up 4 at midday.

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

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