The market is down 39. The SFE Futures were down 19 this morning.
Wall Street closed down 39 overnight. The S&P 500 fell to a five week low. Corporate activity included Campbell Soup saying it was interested in buying United Biscuits and HSBC bidding for Nedbank Group. Metals were mostly down on the LME, the oil price fell 72c to $73.10 and Gold fell 30c to $1228.50. The Aussie dollar up to 89.06c from 88.73c.
Busy day on the results front…
- Foster’s Group (FGL) released their FY result. Operating net profit came in at $698.3m, down from $725.5m last year and above the $673.6m expected. They posted net loss of $464m thanks to a non-cash $1.163bn impairment against the carrying value of their wine assets and the cost of the proposed demerger, which they say is on track. They won’t pay a dividend. FGL down 4% to 601c after putting on 6% yesterday on talk of a bid for the beer division from SABMiller or Asahi.
- Seek (SEK) — FY Result Better-than-Expected — FY net profit came in at $89.5m, up 62% on last year and head of analysts expectations of $79.7m. Declared a final dividend of 6.7c ff, up from 4.7c last year. SEK down 9c to 754c.
- Origin Energy (ORG) missed its own guidance of a 15% rise in underlying profit. It had a 10% rise to $584m. Underlying result came in at $609m, in line with the $608m analysts expected. ORG down 10c to 1550c.
- Oil Search (OSH) — 1st H profit above expectations — 1st H net profit increased by 49% to US$52.9m in H1, up from US$35.6m the previous year, and above the US$47m analysts forecast. OSH will pay an unchanged interim dividend of (US) 2c. OSH down 1c to 586c.
- Sonic Healthcare (SHL) — Annual net profit of $293.23m, in line with consensus estimates and up 71% from $171.36m in 2008/09. The final dividend of 35c is unchanged from the previous year. SHL up 13c to 1056c.
- Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) – Better than expected 1st H profit — net profit came in at $49.3m, up from $33.4m last year and above the $33.9m analysts expected. Declared an interim dividend of 3.5c. ALL up 3.21% to 354c.
- Flight Centre (FLT) — Ahead of Guidance — Announced a normalized profit of $205.1m, up from its guidance of between $190m-$200m in May earlier this year. FLT up 3% to 1903c.
- Xstrata launches takeover bid for Sphere Minerals (SPH) — Xstrata is offering $428m or 250c a share for SPH. The offer has been unanimously recommended by SPH’s board. SPH up 60% to 249c.
- Notable stocks going ex-dividend today include Boral (6.5c), Domino Pizza (3.4c), QBE Insurance (62c) and Wesfarmers (70c).
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