S&P ASX News from the Australian Stock Exchange.
Share to buy – Rio Tinto (RIO)
Since bottoming out near $38 in December, iron ore has rallied to presently be trading above $48.
- Overnight, the bulk commodity jumped 3%.
- The bounce in iron ore, unsurprisingly, has coincided with a bounce in Rio Tinto which has completed a basing pattern and now appears poised to push higher.
- We are looking for a short-term rally in Rio and active traders can consider being buyers.
Share to buy – BHP Billiton (BHP)
The big question on every investor’s lips right now is, ‘Should I buy BHP?’
The Big Australian has fallen sharply in the last 12 months, having given up half of its value.
The rout has come about due to slowing growth out of China and a subdued outlook for global economic growth.
The Samarco mine disaster in Brazil has also weighed heavily, with BHP and partner Vale expected to be footing a multi-billion dollar bill for the tailings dam failure.
These factors, coupled with massive oversupply in key iron ore and oil markets, have driven the share price south.
But commodity slumps don’t last forever; booms turn to busts and back to booms in due course.
And over the cycle, BHP has remained and will remain one of, it not the world’s best diversified mining companies, with an enviable portfolio of world-class assets.
If you have a long-term investment horizon and are willing to put up with some volatility, now could be an ideal time to revisit BHP given the depressed share price.
Share To Sell Coca Cola Amatil Limited (CCL)
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) is an Australasian bottler for US-based The Coca Cola Company, with operations spanning Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. CCL manufactures, sells and distributes Coca-Cola products, including carbonated soft drinks, mineral waters and other non-alcoholic beverages, plus packaged fruit via its SPC Ardmona business. The company also sells and distributes the premium spirits portfolio of Beam Global Spirits and Wines. Profit squeeze Earlier this year CCL admitted that it was facing increased competitive pressures from rival Pepsi’s new low-sugar drink, Pepsi Next, launched in 2012. This has magnified the pressure on the domestic beverage business, which was already contending with weak volume growth but now has to deal with aggressive competitor pricing activity. The disparity in price between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Next was as much as 50%, enough of a difference for consumers to switch their cola allegiance. A combination of weak volume growth and limited ability to raise prices is likely to squeeze CCL’s margins and harm profitability. Also, the SPC Ardmona business continues to be a drag on earnings. CCL is seeking government support for co-investment with SPC Ardmona, a tacit admission that it simply cannot compete with the cheaper importation of private label packaged fruit and vegetables. Outlook Today data showed confidence among Australians during December slid at the fastest pace in seven months. The Westpac Consumer Confidence Index returned a reading of 105, almost 5% weaker than the 110.3 recorded in November. Confidence took a dive this month as consumers became more pessimistic about the outlook for the jobs market and the broader economy. CCL has cited consumer caution as a key factor behind the slowdown of its domestic business and today’s Westpac survey is likely to make them even more nervous about the outlook. In November the company guided for a 5% - 7% fall in FY13 underlying EBIT (the financial year ending this month). With the Australian beverage business comprising around 70% of group revenue, the recent economic data trends suggests the weakness in CCL’s business is likely to persist into FY14.
Fairfax Media (FXJ) On The Way Back
Fairfax Media Limited (FXJ) is an Australian multi-platform media group with a broad range of activities including news publishing, information and entertainment, advertising sales in newspaper, magazine and online formats, and radio broadcasting. FXJ conducts its core activities throughout Australia and New Zealand. Its major newspaper brands are The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review. Additionally, FXJ owns a range of business magazines, websites, and regional and community newspapers. Stayz sale part of restructure This week FXJ announced the sale of Australian holiday rentals site, Stayz, to HomeAway for $220 million. The sale is part of a focus on restructuring the business in response to an ongoing deterioration in advertising revenue. Earlier this year the group consolidated its Australian publishing businesses under the Australian Publishing Media division in an effort to drive efficiencies and simplify its business model. Also, the Domain and Digital Ventures businesses were separated into standalone divisions, allowing the group to devote increased resources and management attention to areas of the business likely to drive its future growth. FY13 results FXJ’s FY13 results revealed a net loss of $16.4 million and a 5.9% slide in revenue to $2.2 billion. On an underlying basis, net profit fell 28.6% 108.3 million. This accounts for the divestments of Trade Me Group, US Agricultural and Victorian Community Publications, as well as continued impairments of mastheads, goodwill and licenses. The asset sales and impairments were needed, however, to streamline the business and repair the balance sheet. Net debt to EBITDA fell from 1.8x in FY12 to 0.4x in FY13. Also, interest cover increased from 4.5x to 6.4x. On both measures, FXJ is comfortably ahead of its debt covenants. Outlook Following the Stayz sale the balance sheet is in even stronger shape. FXJ said it is on track to achieve cost savings of $1.6 billion in FY14. This will help alleviate pressure on the Metro and Regional businesses, which were suffering falling revenue at the start of FY14. In a positive, however, the group is expanding its digital footprint, with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age experiencing strong growth in digital subscriptions. So it appears the FXJ is growing by shrinking, shedding non-core assets and driving cost efficiencies to offset weak revenue. At the same, the investment into its digital capabilities is yielding early success, helping to improve sentiment towards the stock.
Good News Gets Better For Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto (RIO) is an international mining company listed on both the Australian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. The group is an industry leader in most of the major commodities, including aluminium, coking and thermal coal, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium. Rio also has sizable interests in oil, gas and natural gas. China manufacturing growing again Iron ore makes up the most significant component of RIO’s business, around 44% of its overall revenue. Not only have iron prices risen around 19% since the end of June, but the outlook for the mineral appears to be improving. The iron ore recovery has coincided with data showing a return to growth for China’s manufacturing sector. On Monday, the HSBC Final PMI returned a reading of 50.8 for September, representing a slight acceleration in manufacturing growth from October’s 50.4 reading. It was also the third month in a row where China’s manufacturing sector expanded, adding to signs the economy is regaining its footing after a year slowing growth. Outlook Following a poor 1H13, RIO is generating a healthy dose of momentum and is ahead on a number of some of its strategic goals. Last week, RIO announced that iron ore production capacity will rapidly increase towards its targeted 360 million tonnes a year (MT/a), and at significantly lower cost than originally estimated. From a base run rate of 290Mt/a, RIO expects to reach its target between 2014 and 2017, with the majority of the increase to be delivered in the next two years. The miner expects to achieve this by expanding production at existing mines and securing productivity gains. The costs savings works both ways for RIO – helping to alleviate margin pressures in a weak commodity environment and increase earnings leverage to rising commodity prices. For all of our latest australian share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files. Read more: http://www.australianstockreport.com.au/share-tips/#ixzz2nKRlceAE
Webjet (WEB) Share To Sell
Webjet (WEB) is an online travel website, specialising in both domestic and international online flight bookings, accommodation, car rental, and insurance. WEB is Australia’s largest independent online travel site, competing mainly with companies offering similar leisure-related services, such as Jetset (JET), Flight Centre (FLT), Wotif.com (WTF), Expedia, and Bestflights.com.au. Earlier this year, the company acquired rival Zuji and launched business-to-business hotel aggregation platform, Lots of Hotels, for the Middle Eastern and African markets. The company derives its revenue primarily through booking charges and fees, with its main customers being the general public and tourists. Weak FY13 results WEB’s FY13 results weren’t that impressive for a company that traditionally trades on a high P/E multiple. Revenue of $66.5 million represented a rise of 15% on the prior year’s result. Underlying net profit was only 5.6% higher on FY12’s result, missing previous guidance of 15% growth. EBIT margin contracted 10 basis points to 32.4%, continuing a worrying trend where profit margins have fallen for three straight years. Business momentum is also heading in a negative direction, with Total Transaction Value (TTV) and flight booking volumes both declining from 1H12 to 1H13. Outlook WEB trades on a forward P/E of 13.5x, which is a discount to other online service providers, including closest rival, Flight Centre (FLT). The trend of shrinking profit margins is a worry, suggesting that WEB is losing market share to FLT and not getting enough return for each dollar spent on marketing and advertising. WEB followed up its disappointing results by offering relatively subdued guidance earlier this month. It warned that FY14 EBITDA was likely to be unchanged from a year earlier, at $21.5 million. The group admitted that the Australian market had been flat over the past year, but that it would still push on with plans to spend $3 million on marketing and technology, which was expected to weigh on the bottom line. This is a big worry given how important Australia is to WEB’s business. Moreover, the increased marketing and ad spend comes on top of the resources needed to integrate Zuji and support the launch of Lots of Hotels. Although the longer-term outlook appears more promising, FY14 is shaping up to be another disappointing year for FLT. The prospect for further margin erosion will be a key factor behind continued share price weakness in our opinion. For all of our latest australian share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.
Suncorp Group (SUN) Share To Buy
>> General Insurance, which offers personal and commercial insurance products in the motor, home and contents, travel, boat, and workers’ compensation segments. >> Suncorp Bank, which offers banking services to personal, agribusiness, small business and commercial customers. >> Suncorp Life, which offers life insurance and superannuation products.
Share To Buy – Bank Of Queensland (BOQ)
Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is a financial institution, with services spanning retail and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance and equipment finance. As its name implies, BOQ predominantly caters to the Queensland market but has branches throughout Australia. FY13 results Much of BOQ’s recent strong share price performance has come on the back of its FY13 results. Cash profit surged to $250.9 million, from $30.6 million a year earlier. The bottom line turnaround was driven by a major decline in impairment charges from $401 million in FY12 to $112 million in FY13. This reflected a dramatic improvement in asset quality (by exiting weak and impaired assets). Net interest margin (NIM) grew from 1.65% to 1.7%, continuing a positive trend from FY09 when NIM was 1.6%. FY13’s NIM growth came on the back of a more favourable funding mix, which has also positioned BOQ to boost lending volumes in what remains a highly competitive mortgage market. There was also good cost control, with the cost-to-income ratio falling to 44.3%. This exceeded the initial guidance of 45% due to the successful implementation of efficiency and effectiveness programs. Outlook Management has targeted return on tangible equity (ROTE) of 13%+ by FY15. FY13 ROTE was 11.9%, well in excess of the ~10% initial guidance. Due to a combination of falling impairments, rising net interest income and disciplined cost control, we think the 15% ROE target will be achieved by management. The one area of concern was the retail lending growth of 0.6x system growth during FY13, this below the 1.2x target aimed for by FY15. Yet, as we mentioned before, the rise in NIM and dramatically improved asset mix gives the group flexibility to boost lending volumes ahead of FY15. The FY13 result was robust in nearly all areas, and expectations for a continuation of this momentum into FY14 are likely to provide a further boost to BOQ’s share price. For all of our latest share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.
Buy, Sell, Hold Recommendations – Herald Sun 24/11/2013
As featured in the Herald Sun on November 24th 2013, here are the latest buy, sell and hold recommendations from Geoff Saffer Equity Analyst & Educational Facilitator at the Australian Stock Report. Geoff has over 10 years’ experience researching and analysing Australian shares, with a passion for fundamental analysis and specialty in identifying undervalued companies – particularly at the smaller end of the market. Buys Challenger Limited (CGF) – CGF’s profit will drop in FY14, but super low P/E, demand for annuities and rebounding stockmarket make it good value. Ingenia Group (INA) – Retirement property manager is a turnaround play after exiting loss-making US business and cleaning up its balance sheet. Expect strong growth in next two years. Holds Woodside Petroleum (WPL) – Most recent quarter saw higher production offset by lower prices. Prospects for Browse project improving, but would like to see more strength in LNG prices. Crown Resorts (CWN) – Record gambling revenue in Macau driving Macau JV’s fortunes. Sydney Crown also offers huge upside but hype has pushed stock past value levels. Sells UGL Limited (UGL) – Property services demerger could unlock value, but otherwise under pressure from shrinking margins, weakening order book and struggling Engineering division. PanAust Limited (PNA) – Cash costs on the rise and metals prices don’t look headed higher. Further weakness in operating cash flow could see dividend cut. For all of our latest share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.
Newcrest Mining Limited – Sell Stock
Newcrest Mining (NCM) is an Australian gold producer, with operations in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and West Africa. The group’s flagship mine is PNG-based, Lihir, with the other offshore operations being Gosowong in Indonesia, Hidden Valley (50%-owned) in PNG and Bonriko in Ivory Coast. NSW-based Cadia Valley and WA-based Telfer make up the company’s domestic operations. Gold weakness Although gold prices have stabilised in recent months, gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) have continued to shed their bullion holdings, highlighting weak investment demand for the yellow metal. Last Friday night’s better-than-expected US jobs report has increased the likelihood of the US Federal Reserve bringing the forward the date it begins tapering stimulus to December. The market response will likely be a rise in US bond yields and the US dollar, both of which are negative for gold. This reduces the incentive for ETFs to hold bullion and if they continue to sell their holdings – which we expect they will - gold prices are likely to head south. Outlook NCM’s cash costs for the September quarter were $1093 an ounce (oz), whilst the average realised gold price was $1442/oz. With gold prices recently trading around $1285/oz that implies NCM’s cash margin has shrunk by approximately 44% since the end of the quarter, to $192. It also means that Lihir, with a cash cost of $1152/oz, Telfer, with a cash cost of $1296/oz and Bonriko, with a cash cost of $1889/oz, have either become uneconomical or are very close to it. The balance sheet worsened considerably in FY13, with the net debt to equity ratio soaring from 14% to 41%. High costs and falling gold prices are hammering the group’s cash flows, limiting its options to arrest the balance sheet deterioration. This increases the odds of a capital raising. NCM stuck to its FY14 production guidance of 2.0 – 2.3 million ounces. Unfortunately, it is mining lower grade ore from its gold mines, as evidenced by the September quarter production report. A repeat performance in subsequent quarters increases the risk of missing production guidance. Amidst all these concerns, we think there is enough bad news to send NCM shares even lower from current levels. For all of our latest australian sell shares and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.
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Our short-term focused Trading Report returned 30.03%, outperforming the ASX/200 Accumulation Index by 23.58%*
DISCLAIMER: *Performance is derived from recommendations provided by Australian Stock Report’s Trading Report, opened on or after date of acquisition in Nov 2014 *Return figures are gross returns and do not take into account fees or brokerage costs. *Returns are calculated based on a $50,000 hypothetical portfolio, risking 2% of the overall portfolio balance ($1,000) as a starting point for each trade. *Due to slippage and gapping, losses can sometimes exceed $1,000 on an individual trade. *Opening and closing prices for trades (and therefore the prices used for determining aggregate profit/loss) will be those published on the Australian Stock Report website and will be determined by the price at which they could realistically be executed in the market at the time the recommendation is published. *ASX 200 Accumulation Index Return is calculated based upon the price of the index at the start of the session on the day the first ASX 200 trade was placed, i.e. 24.11.2015
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