The market is down 1. The SFE Futures were up 8 this morning.
Wall Street closed up 29 on Friday and was up 2.3% for the week. Unemployment data for January was mixed with gains in payrolls well below estimates but a significant drop in the unemployment rate as they recalculate population numbers. Egypt’s Mubarak held talks with opposition groups agreeing to jointly pursue democratic reform. The oil price was down $1.51 to $89.03. The A$ was down to 101.18c from 101.54c.
Today’s main stories…
- JB Hi-Fi (JBH) — Solid Interim Result — Net profit came in at $87.9m, up 16% on last year. Sales reached $1.683bn (up 8.3%) and declared an interim dividend of 48c (up from 33c last year) — representing a payout ratio of 60%. JBH up 1.7%.
- AGL Energy (AGK) — Profit Downgrade — Announced that recent weather events have knocked $30m-$35m off its bottom line. Now expects FY11 underlying net profit to fall between $415m-$440m, compared to previous guidance of $450m-$480m. Expects to pay an interim dividend of around 29c. AGK up 0.3%.
- MYER Ltd (MYR) — Earnings Downgrade — Myer has cut its FY earnings guidance saying profit will be at least 5% lower on last year because of the challenging retail conditions. Sales for the 6 months to Jan 29 were $1.73bn, down 3.5% on last year. Like-for-like sales were down 5.2%. MYR also announced that it will acquire a 65% stake in Sass and Bide for $42.25m. MYR down 12.5% to 330c – they listed at 410c … they are yet to see that price since listing.
- Sonic Healthcare (SHL) has acquired US Central Coast Pathology Consultants. The acquisition was funded from existing debt facilities and will immediately be EPS accretive. SHL down 0.7%.
- Avoca Resources (AVO) MD Rohan Williams has denied that he will move on after last week’s completion of AVO’s $2bn merger with Anatolia Minerals Development. Anatolia’s Ed Dowling will assume the role of CEO of the merged group, now known as Alacer Gold. AVO unchanged at 330c.
- Atlas Iron (AGO) has extended its $828m takeover bid for Giralia Resources (GIR) by two weeks. AGO up 0.8%, GIR up 2.5%.
- Kangaroo Resources (KRL) expects to complete its $277m acquisition of the Pakar thermal coal project in Indonesia despite a delay in due diligence. KRL up 7.4%.
- QBE Insurance Group (QBE) says any substantial acquisitions are unlikely in 2011 after completing the acquisition of Balboa on Friday and the recent Renaissance Re’s US business. Almost all brokers have HOLD recommendations in the research this morning after the 7.4% rally on Friday. QBE up 0.8%.
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