First quarter results for Beach Energy have pushed its production and earnings guidance towards the top of its guidance range, setting it up for a strong year according to boss Matt Kay. For the first quarter Beach reported revenue of $514 million - thanks in part to a 6pc increase in realised oil price. It said the recent approval of another drilling rig at its Western Flank, and fourth rig to its Cooper Basin JV would help it push production to the top of its guidance range of 25-27MMboe. “We’ve recorded a 7pc increase in production on the previous quarter, sales volumes were up 9% and, for the first time, our quarterly revenue hit more than half-a-billion dollars,” Mr Kay said. “Higher output during a period of stronger commodity prices helped our revenues to reach $514 million, up 9pc on the prior quarter.”
Bubs Australia Ltd (BUB):
Baby food supplier Bubs has booked a first-quarter gross sales revenue figure up more than 400 per cent on the prior year, partly driven by an increase in sales through China’s ‘daigou’ and cross-border eCommerce channels. Gross sales revenue had lifted 416 per cent for the first quarter to $8.98 million, the company told the market this morning. Shares in the company shot up as much as 8.5 per cent on the news. Sales to China grew 338 per cent for the first quarter compared to the prior year, while domestic sales grew 462 per cent for the period, Bubs said. “Domestic sales currently account for around 82 per cent of total revenue as we are seeing strong positive momentum in consumer off-take in-store.” BUB last up 4.26pc at 49c.
Charter Hall Group (CHC):
Listed property player Charter Hall Group has pounced on a major corner office tower in Melbourne, paying Singapore billionaire Koh Wee Meng $140 million for a vacant 24 storey building. Charter Hall purchased the building, which has sat empty and hoarded up at 555 Collins on the corner of King Street for several years, in its $4.5 billion wholesale Prime Office Fund. The site is next to another CPOF owned building at 55 King Street opposite the Grollo-owned Rialto Tower which will give Charter Hall a huge 4620 square metre potential development site in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Koh Wee Meng's Frangrance Group purchased the building in 2014 for $78 million.
Kogan.com Ltd (KGN):
Shares in online retailer Kogan.com plunged more than 24 per cent in early trade after the company delivered its first-quarter results, citing competition from foreign websites not charging GST along with a weaker Australian dollar. It comes after new GST laws on low value eCommerce import transactions were introduced in July, which Kogan said initially saw some competitors exit the market, prompting a 33 per cent revenue increase year-on-year. But the company, which offers electronics as well as mobile, internet and insurance products, said widespread avoidance of GST by foreign eCommerce sites has since become apparent, and that it was unable to determine whether it would be temporary. Kogan posted a lift in active customer numbers but a decline in gross margin.
Navitas Limited (NVT):
Education provider Navitas has spurned a $1.4 billion takeover offer from its co- founder and local private equity firm BGH, saying it undervalues the company. Navitas says it is still willing to negotiate with BGH, but that would involve a detailed management presentation. Shares in the company jumped more than 25 per cent to 8-month highs of $5.41 on receipt of the proposal earlier this month - last at $4.98.
Lynas Corporation (LYC):
Malaysian rare earths producer Lynas has been given a boost in trade on the announcement of temporary permission to store solid residue known as NUF at its site. Earlier this month, the company flagged a delay in the granting of its applications to keep the magnesium rich gypsum - known as NUF - on its site. “Lynas has previously submitted an Action Plan for the Lynas Malaysia plant to be licensed as prescribed premises for the management and disposal of NUF. The regulator has confirmed that it is considering the Lynas application in accordance with applicable legislation,” it noted today.
Ramsay Health Care Limited (RHC):
The French arm of Ramsay Health Care has advised its takeover offer for all shares in Swedish hospital operator Capio has been accepted by 96 per cent of its investors - and extended the acceptance period for remaining shareholders. After sweetening the deal earlier this month, the Ramsay Generale de Sante offer values the company at 8.187 million Swedish Kroner ($1.269 billion). Ramsay CEO and RGdS Chairman Craig McNally said this was a major milestone for the Company giving it a pan European footprint across seven countries with market leading positions in France and the Nordics, which are stable and growing markets with favourable fundamentals.
Rio Tinto Limited (RIO):
Rio Tinto has commissioned a report to showcase what it says is a $43 billion annual economic contribution to the nation, as the heads of the world’s biggest miners head to Melbourne this week for industry meetings and a mining conference. Rio will today release an Australian economic contribution report by ACIL Allen Consulting that says the Anglo-Australian miner contributed $42.7bn to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017, equal to 2.5 per cent of the total and larger than Tasmania’s contribution. According to ACIL, Rio paid $4.9bn in taxes and royalties and increased the real incomes of people living in Australia by $10.5bn, or $1166 per household.
SEEK Limited (SEK):
Seek chief executive and co-founder Andrew Bassat’s remuneration was broadly flat after the jobs ad company’s annual net profit dropped 84 per cent, hit by charges against its operations in Brazil and Mexico. Mr Bassat, who co-founded the company in 1997, was paid $5.10 million for the year ended June 30, up 0.2 per cent from $5.09 million a year earlier, according to the company’s annual report. However, chief financial officer Geoff Robert’s remuneration increased by 6.2 per cent to $2.34 million in fiscal 2018 from $2.20 million a year earlier. Michael Ilczynski, CEO of Seek’s Asia Pacific and the Americas operations, saw his remuneration rise 7.7 per cent to $3.39 million from $3.14 million a year earlier. Seek posted a full-year net profit of $53.2 million in August, down 84 per cent from $340.2 million a year earlier, due to significant items totalling $147 million relating to its Brazil and Mexico operations. Annual sales revenue jumped 25 per cent to $1.29 billion from $1.03 billion. At the time, Seek forecast underlying earnings growth of five to eight per cent for the year ending June 30, 2019 and annual revenue growth of 16 to 20 per cent.
Corporate Travel Management (CTD):
Trade in Corporate Travel Management has been halted this morning after short sellers VGI Partners released a report identifying 20 ‘red flags’ at the weekend. In a notice to the market today, Corporate Travel requested the halt “so that the Company can review and respond to a research report which it has recently received”. VGI Partners accused the company of changing the way it recognises revenue to beefup its financial results, claiming to have offices around the world that aren’t there and boasting of technology patents that don’t exist.
Watpac Limited (WTP):
Belgian construction group Besix has reignited its campaign to buy Watpac with a new bid which values the Australian company at $170 million. It will offer Watpac shareholders 92c per share - the same price as earlier this year when its bid was unsuccessful. Besix will now offer to buy 100 per cent of Watpac after its first offer was only to increase its ownership stake from 28.1 per cent to 64.1 per cent. That bid fell short when only 67 per cent voted in favour while the bid needed at least 75 per cent support. Macquarie will be in the market today buying shares at 92c for Watpac investors who want to sell immediately. The stock closed on Friday at 65.5c.