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Market Update

Australian Banks Gain as Resource Stocks Fall, Woodside Net Up 7.5%


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 12:33 PM ET August 21 2013

4:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes rebounded in late afternoon to trim losses. Takeover Panel approved the rescue package for Billabong International Limited. Woodside Petroleum first-half revenues increased 7.5%. Charter Hall Retail REIT estimated flat operating earnings in the current year.

Australian indexes declined and investors focused on the earnings release from domestic companies. Resources stocks traded volatile.

Australian dollar dropped to 90.32 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover edged up to 742 million shares worth $4.2 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 21.80 or 0.4% to close at 5,100 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 21.50 to 5,090.30.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto rose 9 cents to $59.60 and BHP declined 80 cents to $35.74.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slumped 60 cents to $38.10 after the company reported revenues in the first-half ending in June jumped 6.2% to $2.79 billion from $2.63 billion. Net profit for the period climbed 7.5% to $873 million compared to $812 million a year ago.

The company said underlying profit slipped 1.5% to $852 million.

Westpac gained 15 cents to $31.29 and National Australia Bank jumped 57 cents to $32.14.

Asciano Limited climbed 4.2% to $5.45 after the rail freight and ports operator reported revenue in the year ending in June climbed 7.8% to $3.73 billion from $3.46 billion. Net profit in the year surged 41% to $340 million compared to $240.8 million and diluted earnings per share jumped 40.9% to 34.8 cents from 24.7 cents a year ago.

iiNet Limited slipped 1.9% to $6.33 after the internet telephony service provider said revenue in the year ending in June surged 53% to $941 million and net profit in the year soared 64% to $60.9 million and earnings per share climbed 58% to 37.8 cents.

Investa Office Fund gained 3.5% to $2.97 after the real estate investment trust reported revenue in the year ending in June advanced to $191 million from $182.4 million. Net profit in the year jumped 56% to $158.7 million compared to $101.9 million and diluted earnings per share slipped to 10.1 cents from 14.2 cents a year earlier.

SEEK Limited jumped 4.2% to $9.76 after the online employment classifieds operator reported revenue in the year ending in June soared 40% to $620.2 million and profit for the year jumped 8% to $141.1 million and EBITDA climbed 24% to $239.6 million.

Suncorp Group Limited increased 1.5% to $12.60 after the lender and insurer said gross written premium in the year ending in June soared 8% to $8.59 billion from $7.96 billion. Net profit for the year plunged 32% to $ 491 million compared to $724 million and diluted loss for the year swung to 6.49 cents from earnings of 25.84 cents a year earlier.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc