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Seek in talks to sell $2.2b Zhaopin stake; energy gains

Key Points

  • AUD up 0.6pc to buy US$79.2c
  • US 10-year up 1.8pc to 1.37pc
  • Gold up 1.7pc to $US1807 an ounce
  • Copper hits 9-year high
  • Earnings results include Adbri, Adore Beauty and APA Group

Market indices

  • S&P/ASX 200
  • 6786.40
  • +2.1 (0.031%)

Updated Feb 23, 2021 – 10.43am. Data is 20 mins delayed.

Tech slammed; energy higher as ASX trades flat

Tom Richardson

The S&P/ASX 200 is glass flat this morning as strong gains in energy shares, offset falls in tech.

Energy shares are the brightspot on strong oil prices, with Woodside up 2.2 per cent, Santos up 3.6 per cent, and Oil Search up 5 per cent after handing in a $US320.6 million full-year loss for 2020.

While the technology sector has tumbled 2.8 per cent in morning trade as benchmark risk-free 10-year yields rise on investor expectations of inflation ahead.

Afterpay is down 4.6 per cent to $142.62, Xero is down 4 per cent to $118.44, and Zip Co down 3 per cent at $12.

SEEK shares are down 3.1 per cent to $29.39 in morning trade on news it’s in talks to sell a $2.2 billion Zhaopin stake, with ex-CBA boss Ian Narev set to take the chief executive’s role.

Johns Lyng upgrades sales, EBITDA

Vesna Poljak

Building services group Johns Lyng upgraded full-year guidance for sales and EBITDA by 8 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. EBITDA is now expected to be $47.4 million and sales $524.1 million.

 Johns Lyng

First-half profit rose 21 per cent to $9.6 million and sales rose 19 per cent to $277.8 million. First-half EBITDA was up 39 per cent to $27.7 million. CEO Scott Didier said Johns Lyng goes into the second-half with a strong pipeline of work-in-hand. In terms of strategy it will continue to concentrate on winning market share in the strata market, targeting insurers to the strata industry.

The company declared a dividend of 2.2¢ a share up from 1.8¢, fully franked, to be paid on March 16.


Freedom Foods served with another class action in Victoria

Carrie LaFrenz

Troubled Freedom Foods Group and its auditors Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, have been slapped with a second class action in the Victorian Supreme Court by Omni Bridgeway.

The proceeding alleges breaches of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act and Australian Consumer Law.

The class action is being run by law firm Phi Finney McDonald. Slater and Gordon had already launched a separate investor class action against Freedom Foods and its auditor in December.

The UHT milk manufacturer on November 30 revealed more than $590 million in write-downs and restated several years’ worth of accounts.

Freedom Foods has appointed Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL) to defend both the proceedings.

Freelancer narrows net loss

Tom Richardson

Online jobs marketplace Freelancer has narrowed its full-year net loss for 2020 to $646,000 versus $1.5 million in 2019. It posted positive operating cashflow for the year of $7.9 million, versus $2.1 million in 2019. Total revenue climbed 1 per cent to $59 million on total jobs posted up 19 per cent to 19.1 million.

It said gross merchant value is growing at 27.5 per cent year-on-year in US dollars on a 28 day rolling basis to 17 February. It didn’t provide financial guidance for 2021 but said its product team will focus on the core user experience (UX), design, API & collaboration for its front end. CEO Matt Barrie says the local economy must become more sophisticated post COVID-19. James Brickwood

Shares opened up 3.8 per cent to 55 cents on Tuesday morning.

Bank of Queensland says institutional offer strongly supported

Sarah Turner

Bank of Queensland said that the institutional component of its underwritten 1 for 3.34 accelerated pro-rata non‐renounceable entitlement offer and its underwritten institutional placement have been successfully completed and received strong support from existing and new investors.

Of the approximate $673 million raised in the institutional component, the Institutional Entitlement Offer raised approximately $323 million at the offer price of $7.35 per share (Offer Price) and was strongly supported by institutional shareholders with take‐up of approximately 98% by eligible institutional shareholders.

The Placement raised approximately $350 million at the Offer Price, representing significant demand with a total of approximately 48 million New Shares to be issued under the Placement.

Western Areas prints loss, downgrades guidance

Tom Richardson

Nickel miner Western Areas has reported a net loss down 148 per cent to $12 million on sales down 21 per cent to $122.7 million for the half-year ending December 31, 2020.

Its Forrestania mine in Western Australia produced 261,739 ore tonnes of nickel over the period at an average grade of 2.9 per cent.

Production was lower than the prior half due to operational challenges and lower average grades mined.

As a result it lowered full year nickel production guidance to between 16,000 to 17,000 tonnes versus prior guidance between 17,000 to 19,000 tonnes. Capital, exploration, and mine development cost forecasts for its Odysseus mine remain unchanged.

Mydeal: Jan gross sales up 190pc

Vesna Poljak

Online retail marketplace Limited swung to a first-half loss of $2.3 million from a profit of $0.8 million and revenue more than tripled to $21.2 million. It does not pay a dividend.


Earnings and sales guidance for the second-half was not provided, however, January gross sales were up 190 per cent on January 2020, Mydeal said. The ASX debutant, which raised $40 million in October at $1 a share, had cash of $48.1 million as of December 31.

Gross sales or gross transaction value was $126.7 million up from $40 million helped by growth in active customers to 813,764. It reported an EBITDA loss of $1.4 million for the half, or a loss of $1 million excluding its IPO costs.


Uniti seals three acquisitions in first half, revenue up 150pc

Acquisitive telecommunications infrastructure owner Uniti Group’s revenue has jumped 150 per cent to $55 million in the first six months of fiscal 2021, compared to the first half of the 2020 financial year.

The company posted a $3.9 million after-tax profit, a 23.6 per cent fall on its $5.1 million result in the first half of fiscal 2020.

During the first six months of the 2021 financial year, Unti acquired OptiComm, Harbour ISP and the Telstra Velocity network assets, and the company said “integration and synergy realisation plans” were “on or ahead of schedule”.

“We are today a core infrastructure business, generating operating free cash flow exceeding 60 per cent of our earnings, after investing in the further expansion of our fibre telecommunications infrastructure,” chief executive Michael Simmons said.

Oil Search swings to loss after sharp drop in oil prices

Sarah Turner

Oil Search reported a full year net loss after tax of $US320.7 million, from a profit of $312.4 million a year ago.

Core NPAT declined 93 per cent to $22 million. Revenue fell 32 per cent to $1.1 billion, with full year production at 29.0 mmboe. Oil Search will pay a dividend of US0.5c a share.

“The financial results reflect significantly lower realised hydrocarbon prices in 2020 compared to 2019,” the company said. The results also include a post-tax impairment charge of $260.2 million recognised in the interim financial results.

For 2021, production is expected at between 25.5 mmboe and 28.5 mmboe. Investment expenditure is expected at between $325 million and $445 million.

SomnoMed’s profit falls

Tom Richardson

Sleep treatment business SomnoMed has reported a net profit down $274,859 to $491,571 on sales down 7 per cent to $30.8 million. As at the period end it had cash on hand of $22.7 million.

It blamed the sales falls on the impact of COVID-19, with sales in its core US market down 23 per cent to $9.5 million. It didn’t provide any specific guidance for the second half of the financial year.

Shares are down 33 per cent over the past year and last closed at $1.90.

Summary | 1 Annotation
inflation ahead.
2021/02/22 23:49