Aluminium prices hit three-month highs this week following embargoes on a major Russian producer, Rusal, and an unresolved supply disruption at an Alunorte refinery in Brazil. Rusal, which is responsible for approximately 7.0% of the world’s aluminium, had its material blocked by the two largest global metal exchanges after President... Show More
Australia’s largest banks have endured a controversial year defined by public relations nightmares and opportunistic government interventions. Show More
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) should exercise caution in using the blunt instrument of monetary policy to respond to runaway property prices. Show More
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) announced its full year results on Wednesday, reporting an interim underlying profit of US $3.9 billion, driven by its iron ore division. The profit was a 286% increase on the previous year, but was slightly below market expectations. The company also announced its record interim... Show More
On Thursday, diversified financial services company Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) reaffirmed its earnings guidance at its annual general meeting. The company reported improvements in commodities and global markets trading activity, increased lending in its corporate and asset finance division and greater debt capital markets activity. We believe the short-term outlook... Show More
We believe the prudential regulator’s definition of ‘unquestionably strong’ provides a favourable result for the Australian banking sector with significant political and regulatory uncertainty now removed from the sector. In our view the banks can meet the 10.5% capital requirement without the need for potentially dilutive equity capital raisings. Show More
On Tuesday, chemical agriculture company Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX: IPL) received an upgrade to its debt rating. We believe fertiliser prices have bottomed and combined with the debt re-rating, the company will generate solid earnings and improve its balance sheet. Shares in Incitec Pivot closed up 7.0% for the week.... Show More
I recently met with the large US-based activist hedge fund, Elliott Management, that is currently targeting BHP (ASX: BHP). Show More
On Monday, takeover target Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) announced that private equity firms TPG and Hellman & Friedman withdrew their bids for the company. We took advantage of the share price weakness to increase our holding in FXJ this week. Show More
On Wednesday, Insurance Australia Group Limited (ASX: IAG) surprised the market with an increased profit forecast due to better than expected claims costs. The company said lower than anticipated claims costs predominantly related to compulsory third party (CTP), liability, professional risk and workers compensation. Following the announcement, IAG shares surged... Show More
This week I sat down with Tom Piotrowski from CommSec to discuss Wilson Asset Management’s large cap LIC, WAM Leaders . In addition, I discuss the Australian insurance market, Woolworths and the Amazon threat, local infrastructure and the strengthening US dollar. Show More
I provide an overview of the global and domestic economies and describe how we have positioned the portfolio to take advantage of market opportunities. Show More
My colleague John Ayoub, Senior Equity Analyst, outlines our views on local infrastructure and supermarket exposures. Boral is a key pick in infrastructure and we also believe negativity towards retailers is being overplayed. In this sector our preferred picks are Woolworths and Metcash. Show More
On Tuesday, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) announced its decision to acquire 80% of the equity of plasma-derived therapies manufacturer, Wuhan Zhong Yuan Rui De Biological Products (Ruide) in China for US $352 million. The transaction will see the company enter the Chinese domestic plasma fractionation market. CSL Limited has demonstrated... Show More
We have lightened our weightings in banks given the good run and hence valuations. I think the risk around APRA, ACCC supervision on rate settings, slower credit growth all point to subdued earnings for the banks. Until we get clarity on capital, I believe there is too much risk at... Show More
On Thursday, Australia’s largest travel agent Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX: FLT) presented at the Macquarie Conference. The company reaffirmed their FY17 guidance of $300m to $330m underlying profit before tax, down 7-15% on the previous corresponding period, which had been impacted by declining prices in international airfares over the... Show More
On Thursday, share registry Computershare (ASX: CPU) held an investor day in Melbourne, which Portfolio Manager Matthew Haupt and Senior Equity Analyst John Ayoub attended. The company reaffirmed FY17 earnings per share (EPS) guidance of US 56-58 cents, up 1.7-5.3% on the previous corresponding period. We believe in the ability... Show More
On Monday, Henderson Group PLC (ASX: HGG) announced an update on its proposed merger with Janus Capital Group. Janus Henderson Investors expects to have a combined market capitalisation of c.US $5.6 billion, with Henderson holding approximately 57% of the merged group and Janus approximately 43%. The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company,... Show More
On Wednesday, agricultural chemical company Nufarm (ASX: NUF) announced its FY2017 half year results, with revenue up 15% on the previous corresponding period and underlying earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITDA) also up 15% to $128.7 million. Despite tough operating conditions, Nufarm benefitted from new product launches, market share... Show More
On Monday, insurance broking outfit AUB Group (ASX: AUB) announced its half year results, reporting a 12.7% increase in adjusted net profit after tax (Adjusted NPAT) to $14.5 million and a 15% increase in revenue from ordinary activities to $121.8 million. We expect to see continued growth in AUB which... Show More
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