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Market Update

Australian Markets Extend Gains; Australand, Aurizon Lift Dividend


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 10:31 AM ET February 17 2014

5:00 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes extended gains and resource stocks led the advance. New car sales in January declined 3.5% to 93,232 on broad weakness in the market. Aurizon Holdings Limited said first-half net declined but doubled its dividend. Australand Property full-year profit declined 25%.

Stocks in Sydney extended gains of last week and today’s trading and stronger commodities prices also lifted resource sector stocks.

Better than expected China’s credit data released on Saturday also contributed to positive market sentiment.

New card sales in January declined 3.5% to 93,232 and sales declined in every state, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported new motor vehicles sales in January declined 3.5% to 93,232.

The dollar firmed ahead of the release of latest minute of meetings from Reserve Bank of Australia tomorrow.

Australian dollar increased to 90.53 U.S. cents and in stock market trading turnover dropped to 613 million shares worth $4.2 billion.

The ASX 200 index gained 26.60 or 0.5% to 5,382.90 and the broader All Ordinaries increased 27.90 to 5,394.80.

Stocks in Review

Rio Tinto jumped $1.64 to $69.54. BHP gained 31 cents to $38.02. Woodside Petroleum Limited rose 22 cents to $38.58.

Westpac increased 16 cents to $32.91.

Australand Property Group rose 0.5% to $3.93 after the property developer reported revenue in the year ending in December jumped 4% to $1.06 billion from $1.01 billion.

Net profit in the year declined 25% to $135.33 million compared to $179.97 million a year ago.

The company said profit declined due to write-downs on several commercial, industrial and residential projects.

The company declared annual dividend of 11 cents a share and said distribution is likely to increase in future.

Aurizon Holdings Limited gained 1.7% to $5.19 after the rail freight operator said revenue in the first-half ending in December jumped 5% to $1.97 billion from $1.88 billion a year earlier.

Net profit in the period tumbled 39% to $107.3 million compared to $175.7 million a year ago period.

The rail road operator formerly known as QR National nearly doubled its dividend to 8 cents a share.

UGL Limited plunged 12% to $6.23 after the diversified engineering company plans to split or sell its property group DTZ.

UGL today reported revenue in the first-half ending in December climbed 7% to $2.23 billion from $2.08 billion a year ago.

Net profit in the period fell 3% to $49.7 million compared to $51 million and earnings per share slid 3% to 29.8 cents from 30.7 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