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Market Update

Australian Index Up 1.6% in August on Local Earnings


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 9:41 AM ET August 30 2013

4:30 PM Sydney – Australian indexes gained on local earnings and growth optimism and in August registered an increase of 1.6%. Harvey Norman and Retail Food Group gained on improved annual outlook. Virgin Australia swung to a loss.

Australian stocks and indexes gained as investors shrugged off the rising prospect of yet another military strike in the Middle East and U.S. stimulus pull back.

In the month of August, the bench mark index ASX 200 gained 1.6% and investors are looking ahead to rate decision and second quarter economic data scheduled to release in September. In addition, Australia is scheduled for national election on September 7.

Australian dollar lowered 2 cents to 89.47 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover climbed to 1 billion shares worth $6.2 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 42.60 o 0.8% to close at 5,135 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 42.20 to 5,125.30.

For the week, ASX 200 rose 0.2% and for the month jumped 1.7%.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto increased 9 cents to $58.25 and BHP climbed 55 cents to $35.35. Woodside Petroleum Limited gained 25 cents to $38.21.

Westpac rose 11 cents to $31.22.

Austal Limited climbed 5% to 84 cents after the aluminium vessels maker reported revenue in the year ending in June surged 38% to $902.8 million from $653 million a year earlier.

Net income for the year soared four-fold to $49.3 million compared to $11.9 million and diluted earnings per share climbed 12.01 cents from 4.61 cents a year ago.

Chief executive officer said “Austal is targeting revenue of $1 billion in the current financial year.”

Evolution Mining Limited, the gold producer said revenue in the year ending in June soared 29% to $605.03 million from $469.48 a year ago.

Net in the year swung to a loss $307.4 million compared to a profit of $37.3 million a year earlier.

Underlying EBITDA for the year jumped 11% to $211.7 million and underlying net profit was $44.4 million and the miner wrote down $350 million worth of assets.

Harvey Norman Holdings Limited jumped 4.5% to $3.01 after the electrical equipments retailer reported net profit for the year dropped 3.3% to $183 million on property write downs.

Retail Food Group Limited soared 5.2% to $4.23 after the food processing company said total revenue in the year ending in June climbed 14.8% to $117 million from a year ago.

Net profit for the year jumped 11% to $32.6 million compared to $29.4 million and diluted earnings per share slipped 25.9 cents from 26.3 cents a year ago.

RHG Limited closed unchanged at 49 cents after the board of the residential mortgage service provider unanimously accepted cash takeover bid from Resimac Syndicate for $153 million.

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited declined 3.7% to 39 cents after the airliner reported revenue in the year ending in June soared 20% to $4 billion and net in the year swung to a loss of $98.1 million compared to a profit of $22.8 million a year ago.

Net operating expenses rose 7% to $4.12 billion. The company added it is unable to recover $48 million that paid in carbon taxes from higher ticket prices.

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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