Wilson Asset Management weekly: Flight Centre, CBA and Westfield
The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Accumulation Index closed up 1.4% for the week. This week the All Ordinaries Index continued to climb past the 6,000 point mark for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, largely driven by the banking and mining sectors. The Australian equity market has now been up eight of the last nine weeks and this week made fresh nine and a half year highs.
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Flight Centre profit takes off
On Thursday, Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX: FLT) held its annual general meeting (AGM), providing FY2018 guidance of between $350 million and $380 million, up between 6.2% and 15.6% on the previous year and slightly above market expectations. Management reiterated its long-term targets and improving trends in Europe and the United States, while noting investment in systems and processes temporarily impacted the Australian business. The company also reiterated its planned capital management initiatives. Shares in Flight Centre are up 1.2% since the AGM. We own Flight Centre as a market-driven investment in WAM Capital, WAM Leaders, WAM Active and Century Australia.
CBA cleans up
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) announced its first quarter earnings update on Wednesday, reporting cash earnings of $2.65 billion, up 6%, assisted by re-pricing in rates for interest-only home loans. The company also reported operating income growth of 4% due to volume growth and improved margins. Shares in CBA closed up 4.0% for the week. We own CBA as a market-driven investment in WAM Leaders and Century Australia.
A grade score card for Westfield
On Thursday, Westfield Corporation (ASX: WFD) announced its third quarter update highlighting the continued strength in its A grade shopping malls, reporting a 3.6% increase in specialty retail sales for the period. This update, along with a number of high profile transactions in the US mall market, has highlighted the underlying value of WFD’s portfolio. Shares in WFD closed up 8.4% for the week. We own WFD as a research-driven investment in WAM Leaders and Century Australia.
Chris was the Chief Investment Officer of Wilson Asset Management, having joined the company in 2006. He was also the Portfolio Manager responsible for WAM Capital (ASX:WAM), WAM Research (ASX:WAX), WAM Active (ASX:WAA) and WAM MicroCap (ASX:WMI).