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Market Update

Japan Post Offers 50% Premium for Australia Based Toll Express


Author: Marcus Jacob
ticker.com
Last Update: 9:54 AM ET February 18 2015

5:30 PM Sydney Australian market indexes soared after Japan Post offered a large premium for the transportation and logistics operator Toll Express. The offer powered other deal driven stocks. Ardent Leisure plunged after declaring a loss in the first-half. Woodside Petroleum revenues and net rise.

Australian market indexes surged after Japan Post offered nearly a 50% premium to acquire Toll Express.

Investors bid up other talked and rumored acquisition target after the bid and the rise in commodities prices and oil lifted resource stocks.

Australian dollar closed at 78.25 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover jumped to 923 million shares worth $6.2 billion.

ASX 200 Index climbed 57.50 or 0.9% to 5,915.70 and broader All Ordinaries Index increased 55.60 to 5,877.90.

In commodities trading, gold tumbled US$19 to US$1,228 an ounce and light crude oil gained 62 cents to US$54.29 a barrel.

Brent crude declined US$1.13 to close at US$61.40 a barrel.

Australian Stock Movers

Ardent Leisure Group plunged 15.9% to $2.33 after the premium leisure company said total revenues in the first-half ending in December surged 13.8% to $286.5 million from $251.8 million a year ago period.

Net in the period swung to a loss of $2.82 million compared to profit of $4.86 million and diluted loss per share swung to a 0.65 cents from earnings per share of 1.20 cents in the same period a year ago.

Insurance Australia Group Limited tumbled 8.5% to $5.85 after the general insurance company said gross written premium in the first-half ending in December soared 16.9% to $5.60 billion from $4.79 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period plunged 9.8% to $579 million compared to $642 million and diluted earnings per share dropped to 24.08 cents from 29.56 cents in the same period a year ago.

Primary Health Care Limited declined 4.7% to $4.68 after the medical centre operator stated revenues in the first-half ending in December jumped 6.3% to $797.86 million from $750.82 million a year ago period.

Net profit in the period climbed 6.2% to $53.36 million compared to $50.25 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 10.5 cents from 10 cents in the same period a year ago.

Toll Holdings Limited surged 47.2% to $8.95 after the transport and logistic company received a merger proposal from Japan Post Co. Ltd for $9.04 a share in cash or $6.5 billion, represents a 49% premium to closing price yesterday.

Separately, today the company reported revenues in the first-half ending in December dropped 2.6% to $4.41 billion from $4.52 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period tumbled 22% to $136.6 million compared to $175.9 million and diluted earnings per share slipped to 18.5 cents from 23.8 cents in the same period a year ago.

Woodside Petroleum Limited climbed 4.4% to $36.45 after the oil and gas producer reported sales revenues in the year ending in December soared 25.3% to US$7.43 billion from US$5.93 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period surged 39.2% to US$2.52 billion compared to US$1.81 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to US$2.93 from US$2.13 in the same period a year ago.

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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