S&P 500 2,441.20 17.28
Gold$1,224.80 $5.30
Nasdaq 6,253.81 61.92
Crude Oil $60,490.00      $-1570.00
Market Update

Australian Indexes Trim Gains; Wesfarmers, Fortescue Metals in Focus


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 9:21 AM ET February 19 2014

5:00 PM Sydney Market indexes in Sydney opened higher on the back of a rally in resource sector but trimmed gains in the late afternoon. Wesfarmers reported first-half profit increased 11%. Woodside Petroleum full-year net declined 41%.

In active trading, stocks in Sydney trimmed gains in late afternoon after opening higher.

Turnover perked up the release of earnings from Woodside Petroleum, Fortescue Metals, Brambles and Wesfarmers.

Australian dollar closed at 90.20 U.S. cents and in stock market trading turnover jumped to 808 million shares worth $4.9 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 15.40 to 5,408.20 and the broader All Ordinaries rose 13.30 to 5,415.50.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto slipped 68 cents to $70.20. BHP fell 15 cents to $38.74.

Woodside Petroleum Limited slid 13 cents to $38.37 after the oil and gas producer reported revenue in the year ending in December declined 7.2% to $5.78 billion from $6.22 billion a year earlier.

Net profit in the year tumbled 41.4% to $1.75 billion compared to $2.98 billion a year ago.

The company said net debt in the year dropped 20% to $1.54 billion and generated free cash flow of $2.27 billion in 2013 and $5.91 billion in the last two years.

Westpac jumped 38 cents to $33.24.

Brambles Limited gained 2.5% to $9.05 after the pooling solution provider said sales in the year ending in December jumped 7% to $2.67 billion from 2.49 billion a year earlier.

Profit in the year surged 217% to $959 million compared to $302.5 million and basic earnings per share climbed to 61.5 cents from 19.6 cents a year ago.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited dropped 2.3% to $5.84 after the iron ore producer reported revenue in the year ending in December soared 77% to $5.87 billion from $3.32 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the year climbed 260% to $1.72 billion compared to $478 million and basic earnings per share jumped to 55.05 cents from 15.35 cents a year earlier.

Fortescue said capacity expansion led to operating earnings increase in the year to $3.2 billion from $1.1 billion a year ago.

Suncorp Group Limited declined 2.8% to $12.25 after the insurance company reported gross written premium in the first-half ending in December grew 3.8% to $4.38 billion from $4.22 billion a year ago.

Net profit in the first-half dropped 4.5% to $548 million compared to $574 million and diluted earnings per share slipped to 42.49 cents from 43.37 cents a year earlier.

Wesfarmers Limited decreased 0.5% reported an increase in first-half net profit by 11.2%.

  1
Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc