5:00 PM Sydney – Australian market indexes opened higher but the weakness in resource sector dragged the indexes to close down. Atlas Iron reported a surge in net sales and swung to profit in the first-half. Graincorp lowered its earnings outlook. IOOF net profit in the first-half soared 45%.
Australian market indexes opened higher and extended gains in the day but turned negative in the afternoon trading on the weakness in resource sector.
Australian dollar gained to 90.31 U.S. cents and in stock market trading turnover declined to 800 million shares worth $4.7 billion.
The ASX 200 index slid 6.40 to 5,433.80 and the broader All Ordinaries fell to 6.10 to 5,444.
Stocks in Review
Rio Tinto slipped 93 cents to $68.62. BHP slid 28 cents to $39.10. Woodside Petroleum Limited fell 33 to $37.66.
Westpac decreased 15 cents to $33.42.
Atlas Iron Limited
dropped 2.3% to $1.06 after the iron ore miner said revenue in the first-half ending in December surged 104.1% to $588.2 million from $288.3 million a year ago.
Net in the period swung to a profit $73.7 million compared to a loss of $256 million the year earlier.
fell 0.5% to $7.77 after the grain supply chain lowered its full-year earnings guidance and expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the year in the range of $275 million to $315 million and net profit between $80 million and $100 million.
In fiscal 2013, Graincorp reported EBITDA of $395 million and net profit of $175 million.
IOOF Holdings Limited
plunged 4.9% to $9.20 after the retirement management service provider reported revenue in the first-half ending in December jumped 11% to $368.3 million compared to $332.8 million a year earlier.
Net profit in the period surged 45% to $48.2 million from $33.2 million a year ago.
The management service provider said funds under management in the period increased by $3.8 billion to $124 billion.
QBE Insurance Group Limited
soared 5.3% to $12.27 after the insurance company reported revenue in the year ending in December declined 7% to $19.44 billion from $20.92 billion a year ago.
Net in the year swung to a loss $254 million compared to a profit of $761 million a year earlier.
QBE said the loss was due to costs associated with its North American Operations relating to prior year claims, write-off of goodwill and intangibles, and restructuring costs.
Ramsay Health Care Limited
surged 6.7% to $47.54 after the hospital operator reported revenue in the first-half ending in December climbed 13.9% to $2.36 billion from $2.07 billion a year ago period.
Net profit in the period soared 13.9% to $157.76 million compared to $138.44 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 74.4 cents from 64.3 cents a year earlier.
Ramsay lifted its guidance for net-profit-after-tax for the year and earnings per share growth between 16% and 18% from earlier range of 12% to 14%.