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Market Update

Rebound in Copper and Commodities Lift BHP and Antofagasta

Author: Sarla Buch
Last Update: 11:16 AM ET August 22 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt – Antofagasta quarterly performance surged on higher copper prices and sales volumes. BHP Billiton net swung to profit and plans to sell its U.S. shale operations. Provident Financial tumbled 71% after new profit warning. Zooplus net declined but revenues soared.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index jumped 67.85 or 0.9% to 7,386.83 and in Frankfurt the DAX index soared 158 or 1.3% to 12,223.17.

In Paris, CAC 40 index advanced 43.84 or 0.9% to 5,132.05.

Antofagasta Plc advanced 2.9% to 983 pence after the U.K.-based copper miner said revenues in the first-half ending in June jumped 41.9% from a year ago to $2.05 billion.

Net income in the period surged 229.7% to $290.5 million from $88.1 million in a year ago six-month period and earnings per share jumped to 29.5 cents from 8.9 cents.

The copper producer said net debt in the first-half declined 17.3% to $859.6 million from $1.04 billion and operating profit soared 87.8% to $1.1 billion and operating margin jumped to 52.7% from 39.8% in the same period a year ago.

The miner said copper production in the first-half jumped 7.1% to 346,300 tons and forecasted copper production in fiscal 2017 between 685,000 tons and 720,000 tons.

The company increased dividend to 10.3 cents per share for the period from 3.1 cents paid in the same period a year ago.

BHP Billiton Plc jumped 3% to 1,407 pence after the U.K.-based commodities miner reported revenues in the year ending in June surged 24% from a year ago to $38.3 billion.

Net in the year swung to $5.9 billion of profit from a loss of $6.4 billion in a year ago period and diluted earnings per share swung to $1.10 from diluted loss per share of $1.20.

The global resources producer said as of June 30, net debt declined 37% to $16.3 billion from $26.1 billion and profit from operations swung to $11.8 billion compared to a loss of $6.2 billion in the same period a year ago.

The miner plans to sell-off its onshore U.S.-based oil and gas operations after activist investor Elliott Management pushed the company for the action.

""We had very strong financial year with a free cash flow of $12.6 billion, the second highest on record,” said chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie.

Separately, BHP said it will launch multicurrency bond repurchase plan for up to $2.5 billion and also increased its final dividend three-fold.

Jenoptik AG fell 0.5% to €23.14 after Germany-based optoelectronics products maker today agreed to merge the U.S.-based automated manufacturing solutions provider Five Lakes Automation with its laser-machine business.

The financial terms were not disclosed.

Provident Financial plc tumbled 70.5% to 516.50 pence after the U.K.-based lender warned second time in three-months and estimated a loss in the third-quarter between £80 million and £120 million.

As a part of its turnaround, the consumer lender has introduced full-time “customer experience managers” rather than self-employed agents in its home credit business that deployed on July 6.

The higher than expected agent attrition and reduced agent effectiveness on collections performance led the collections performance declined to 57% from 90% in 2016 and sales dropped to £9 million per week, lower than a year ago period.

Zooplus AG dropped 2.7% to €157.55 after Germany-based online dry and wet pet products retailer reported revenues in the first-half ending in June soared 20.6% from a year ago to €516.7 million.

Net profit in the period declined 9.7% to €2.8 million from €3.1 million in a year ago six-month period and diluted earnings per share fell to €0.39 from €0.43.

Gross margin in the first half was 24.5%, slightly below the reported 24.9% in the same period a year ago.

The online pet products retailer reaffirmed fiscal 2017 revenues to jump to at least €1.13 billion and operating profit in the range of €17 million to €22 million.

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