The market is up 6. The SFE Futures were up 13 this morning.
The Dow closed up 46 following the release of December FHFA house price index data and weekly jobless claims numbers. Pretty quiet night. Oil price remains a concern. European markets were flat as the Greeks progress their deal with bond holders. The Nasdaq closed up 0.81% and the S&P 500 closed up 0.43%. The gold price was up $10.20 to $1781.50. Metals were up the LME. The Aussie dollar was up buying 107.18¢. The oil price up $2.35 to $108.63.
- Westpac Bank (WBC) sets the margin for its convertible preference share offer at 3.25%. Offer size has also been increased to $1bn — looks like the demand for notes is still alive and well despite the ANZ tripling their issue this week. WBC is up 0.34% to 2073c
- Crown (CWN) delivered a profit of $211.6m up 27.6% and ahead of the expected $208.54m after an increase in turnover from high rolling gamblers. Earnings were up 5.2% to $386m against consensus of $364m. Interim dividend of 18c. No guidance given. CWN is up 0.12% to 844c
- Echo Entertainment (EGP) — Interim profit of $70.2m in line with guidance. Results can’t be compared with priors as EGP was created in June last year when Tabcorp Holdings (TAH) demerged its casino business. Interim dividend of 4c. Expansion plans at The Star have been delivered on time and within budget so the outlook for the second half remains positive. EGP is up 4.2% to 396c
- AGL Energy (AGK) — Interim profit down 51% to $117m including a loss of $115.9m from the changes in the fair value of derivatives. Underlying profit was $232.9m below the $255m expected. Fully franked interim dividend of 29c. AGK intends to issue a $650m hybrid note and make an $860m rights entitlement offer to shareholders. AGK is down 4% to 1376c.
- NRW Holdings (NWH) interim profit of $45.3m up 123%. Revenue of $610.4m up 72%. Fully franked dividend of 8c. Full year revenue guidance of $1.3bn with a profit margin of 7% confirmed. Company has a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects in iron, coal, oil and gas. NWH is down 1% to 355.
- Virgin Holdings (VBA) has announced plans to restructure its business. It will see the international operations moved to an unlisted holding company removing the 49% foreign ownership cap and opening the door for foreign institutional investors. VAH is up 6% to 41.5c.
- Qube (QUB) has announced an agreement to acquire Giacci Holdings for $119m. Giacci is a mining services company specialising in mineral haulage and handling in WA. QUB is up 3% to 156c.
- Newcrest Mining (NCM) has announced a production downgrade at its Lihir gold plant in PNG. Expects production for the March Q to be down by 50,000-60,000 ounces of gold. They have maintained guidance for the full year. NCM is down 3.8% to 3473.
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