Stocks fell today with the financials leading the decline – ANZ the worst of the banks after a litany of downgrades filtered through post yesterday’s result. The first reaction yesterday to BUY the stock was clearly wrong and sellers took hold today, while NAB was a relative performer after they released 1H19 results – more on that below.
Overall today, the ASX 200 lost -37 points or -0.59% to 6338. Dow Futures are trading up +23pts / +0.08%
ASX 200 Chart
ASX 200 Chart
CATCHING OUR EYE;
Macquarie Conference – wound up today ahead of Macquarie (MQG) themselves reporting results tomorrow. As we said yesterday, fewer big moves emanating from the event this year,, however one of note today was Seek (SEK) which downgraded guidance a few days ago but talked a bullish story during their presentation today. Broken out technically
Seek (SEK) Chart
Stocks that presented at the conference today and their moves...
NAB -0.31% $25.70 - NAB reported cash profit of $2954M for 1H19 which was close to expected with earnings per share (EPS) of $1.07 which was inline and included additional remediation costs, the dividend was 83cps, below expectations however, unlike ANZ yesterday, NAB reported home loan growth in Australia. It was only 2% from 30/9/18 to 31/3/19 but it was better than the 1% decline reported by ANZ. Business loan growth was 4% in the past 6 months and total loan growth was 3% - a passable result in a tough operating environment. Net interest margins were weak. NAB’s total revenue and expense growth were similar at 1.4% and 1.7% respectively from 1H18 to 1H19 while the bad debt charge increased as did 90 day past due housing loans. They increased from $2.2B at 30/9/18 to $2.7B at 31/3/19. The dividend was cut to a more sustainable 83 cps.
While the dividend will no doubt get the headlines on the news tonight, the underlying result is more important and we actually think an aggressive re-rate of the dividend could be a positive for the business moving forward. At 83c on $1.07 of earnings, that’s a 77% payout ratio, however the $1.07 also includes remediation costs which are not ongoing, so payout drops further in time. We recently write about NABs likely dividend cut here
NAB outperformed the sector today on a weak market closing down -0.31% versus ANZ –2.43%, CBA-0.85% & WBC –2.59%. Westpac reports 1H19 earnings on Monday
Woolies (WOW) +0.81% - released a cracking sales number today with food sales growth of 4.2% versus market expectations of 3.0% to 3.5%. Liquor did well too adding 5.9%. They clearly have the wood on COL at the moment and WOW’s doing a good job to justify a premium PE multiple of 23x versus Coles on 19x, however both operators (WOW/COL) have sent a very clear message to the market, warning about a litany of challenging headwinds.
Wesfarmers (WES) -0.39% bids for Kidman Resources (KDR) +44.96% – WES has well and truly shown its hand towards the EV space, this morning lobbing a bid for the Lithium developer at a 47% premium to yesterday's closing price. Kidmans plans to back the $1.90 per share offer as are KDR’s major shareholders. Here's what WES said about Lithium this morning on the conference call; "Over the course of the last two years, we identified lithium as an interesting sector that will not only benefit from the growing global uptake of electric vehicles, but is also an area where Wesfarmers' capabilities are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the opportunity in this space,"
The move comes on the heels of WES’s bid for rare earths miner Lynas, although that bid seems to have more significant hurdles to actually become a reality. While the deal is obviously good in the short term for shareholders, Lithium prices are low, KDR has a great asset and clearly WES sees it. Kidman was trading above the $1.90 bid price this time last year. Others in the sector did well today, Pilbara Minerals (PLS) +9.09% and Altura Mining (AJM) added +9.09% (uncanny moves)
Kidman Resources (KDR) Chart
Ausdril (ASL) –8.36% hit today on no new news that I could see. There was an update a few days ago about the potential for a new note issue in the US (raising debt) however that has not been finalised. Need to dig deeper on today’s decline.
Ausdrill (ASL) Chart
Earnings: Resmed (RMD) –0.54% – down marginally today ahead of their Q3 earnings which will be released after the US close tonight (tomorrow morning our time). Adjusted eps expected to come in at 85c on revenue of $657 million – look for gross margins at 59%.
Janus Henderson (JHG) –0.79% – will report 1Q results tonight in the States with the market expecting 1Q adjusted eps of 59c on revenue of $522.3 million. Assets under management should come in somewhere around $352 billion.
Resmed (RMD) Chart
Broker moves: ANZ in focus with a litany of downgrades...
· Scentre Group Downgraded to Neutral at UBS; PT A$3.74
· Chorus Downgraded to Neutral at UBS; PT NZ$5.90
· Regis Resources Upgraded to Hold at Deutsche Bank
· SkyCity Entertainment Cut to Neutral at Evans and Partners
· A2 Milk Co Downgraded to Sell at Morningstar
· ANZ Bank Downgraded to Neutral at JPMorgan; PT A$29.50
· ANZ Bank Cut to Hold at Morgans Financial; Price Target A$29
· ANZ Bank Downgraded to Neutral at Goldman; PT A$28.62
· ANZ Bank Downgraded to Underperform at Credit Suisse; PT A$26.55
· BHP Group PLC Downgraded to Neutral at Citi
· Sandfire Upgraded to Hold at Bell Potter; Price Target A$7.10
· Redbubble Downgraded to Neutral at Goldman; PT A$1
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I’m amazed at the markets response to ANZ v NAB today. ANZs result looked solid relative to NABs with CET 1 capital ratio strengthening even after the completion of the $3B buyback that supported an increase in cash EPS. ANZ also maintained a conservative div payout ratio (& will neutralise the DRP with onmarket purchases) leaving headroom for further capital management once the AU and NZ reg requirements sort themselves out. Costs are also being well managed with the promise to remove a further $1B in costs over the next 3 years. NAB on the other hand is forced to increase capital requirements to meet APRAs minimum CET 1 capital requirement which will result in further shareholder dilution with DRP offered at a 1.5% discount and underwritten to the tune of $1B. There is also the risk of further dividend cuts if economic conditions deteriorate and almost zero prospects of any value accretive capital management for shareholders over the next 2 to 3 years. NAB has also experienced higher credit impairment charges across the business and also operates at a higher cost to income ratio relative to ANZ.