The market is up 25
having been up 40
first thing. Dow Jones was up 116 o
vernight. SFE Futures were up 29
The Dow was up 134
at best on above average volume. Main drivers were good economic data, a testimony from the Fed chairman and the hung election in Italy. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has said that he expects the quantitative easing asset purchase program to continue as indicated -- that offset a European sell-off on uncertainty about the inconclusive Italian election result. The Italian MIB index was down 4.89%. Good US economic numbers -- US consumer confidence was up from 58.4 to a three-month high of 69.6 in February. The Case-Shiller home price index was up 0.9% in December, while the FHFA home price measure was up 0.6%. Best sectors: basic materials (+1.1%), energy (+0.9%), consumer services (+0.8%) and telecoms (+0.8%).
European markets down
-- UK FTSE down 1.34%, German DAX down 2.27%, France down 2.67%, Spain down 3.2%, Italy down 4.89%.
- Westfield Group (WDC) -- Net profit of $1.72 billion, up 18%. Funds from operations $1.47 billion, up 0.3% and in line with expectations. Final dividend of 24.75c. WDC is up 0.59% to 1114.5c.
- Wesfield Retail Trust (WRT) -- Delivered earnings inline with estimates -- $572.6 million v $572.7 million. Final distribution of 9.5cps. WRT is up 1.11% to 317.5c.
- Wotif.com Holdings (WTF) -- Net profit of $27.5 million, down 5% and below a consensus forecast of $29.6 million. Group accommodation revenue margin was 12%. Fully franked dividend of 11.5c – unchanged. There were 1.89 million accommodation bookings, compared to 1.91 million last year. Total revenue of $73.2 million down 1%. WTF down 8.05%.
- AGL Energy (AGK) -- Net profit of $364.7 million. Underlying net profit of $279.4 million, up 20% and above an expected $272 million. Dividend of 30c. Financial year underlying profit guidance of $590 million to $640 million. AGK is up 3.85% to 1577.5c.
- James Hardie (JHX) -- Reported after market Wednesday. Net operating profit of $US31.5 million in the third quarter, up from a loss of $US4.8 million. Downgraded earnings guidance. JHX is up 1.5% to 949c.
- Sydney Airport (SYD) -- Net profit of $179.2 million. Final distribution of 10cps. SYD is up 1.27% to 318c.
- UGL – Underlying net profit of $51 million below an expected $76.6 million. Reported NPAT $26 million down 53%.Dividend of 34c. Underlying NPAT of $150–160 million expected in FY2013. UGL is down 3.03% to 1057c.
- BC Iron (BCI) -- Net profit of $7.7 million, up 40%. Interim dividend 5c. JV Iron ore sales to double to 2.3m tonnes. Company expects stronger 2H earnings on iron ore bounce. BCI is down 2.75% to 389c.
- Slater & Gordon (SGH) – NPAT of $15.6 million up 61.3%. EBITDA of $26.4 million up 60.3%. Dividend of 2.75c. SGH is up 2.12% to 241c.
- Finbar Group (FRI) – Net profit of $14.07 million. On track to exceed 2012 financial year $28.3 million net profit