Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) expects to deliver post-tax profit for the full year of approximately $50 million, down from earlier guidance of between $52 million and $56 million. It is blaming challenging market conditions and weaker refrigerated logistics trading due to the long Easter break. It is also reviewing the carrying value of receivables from the refrigerated logistics division across the current financial year and previous. This may lead to some write down. AHG says it does not expect this information to affect AP Eagers' takeover of the company.
InvoCare Limited (IVC):
Funeral service provider InvoCare says market conditions have improved over the past quarter, with the number of deaths beginning to revert to the long-term trend. Earlier in the year, the company had flagged a slowdown in the market after a mild winter and benign flu season, but ahead of its AGM today said the number of deaths was expected to increase year-on-year in 2019. For the first quarter it reported operating earnings after tax up 9 per cent, and gross sales revenue of 7.8 per cent, but said it would not forecast full year results due to the “inability to accurately forecast the severity of the flu season”. “Our commitment to our key growth strategies of Protect & Grow and regional markets has been reflected in the positive results,” chief Martin Earp told the market. “The number of deaths has begun to return to the long-term trend and we remain focussed on our key strategies to meet the changing customer needs and to profitably grow market share.”
Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (MYX):
Mayne Pharma says second half sales are facing tougher competition and it is reviewing the carrying value to generic and development intangible assets. In a trading update Mayne warns sales of generic products are down 32 per cent at $89 million for the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2018. Gross profit for the period is down 20 per cent. "Whilst recent trading reflects a challenging generic environment, the Company expects the fourth quarter of 2018-19 to be stronger driven by a rebound in generic products, combined with ongoing growth in speciality brands, metrics contract services and Mayne Pharma International," chief executive Scott Richards told the market this morning.
Ruralco Holdings Ltd (RHL):
Shares in takeover-target RuralCo are down 0.7 per cent to $4.40 compared to a broader market drop of 1.3 per cent after reporting 2 per cent earnings growth to $38 million, but 4 per cent profit decline, for the six months ending 31 March. It declared a fully franked dividend of 10 cents per share paying on 18th June. The company says it is "cautious about short term seasonal conditions" for second half results. Earnings for the rural services division were steady at $47 million, water services earnings were flat at $9.6 million, financial services earnings were $500,000 and live export earnings just $100,000. In February RuralCo announced Nutrien plans to buy all RuralCo shares for $4.40. The deal is recommended by the board and is awaiting ACCC and foreign investment review board approval.
Infratil Ltd (IFT):
NZ infrastructure group Infratil has confirmed speculation of a takeover tilt for Vodafone NZ, this morning announcing the $NZ3.4 billion ($3.22bn) acquisition in consortium with Brookfield. The deal flagged last week, was described as “transformational” for Infratil and as complementary to to its acquisition of Canberra Data Centres. Chairman Mark Tume cited the company’s transformation of Z Energy, formerly Shell’s NZ downstream assets, as an example of its ability to “reinvigorate a standalone New Zealand entity that was formerly owned by a multinational corporation”. The company said the acquisition increased its exposure to long-term data and connectivity growth and created a simplified portfolio with substantial positions across renewable energy, data, retirement and aged care, and airports.
Graincorp Ltd (GNC):
The ACCC is reviewing Graincorp’s proposed $350 million sale of its bulk liquid terminals to privately owned ANZ Terminals. ANZ has agreed to sell its Osborne terminal in Adelaide to offset potential ACCC concerns about too much competitive overlap in the deal. It has released for comment the structural undertaking proposed by ANZ Terminals with comments due on May 23 and a final decision on July 25. Graincorp and ANZ Terminals both provide bulk liquid storage services, specialising in the storage and handling of bulk liquid fats and oils, fuels and chemicals.
Kathmandu Holdings Ltd (KMD):
Kathmandu has appointed Chris Kinraid as chief financial officer as the New Zealand-based company makes a change it hopes will help it expand internationally. The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer said it was splitting the previously combined CFO and chief operating officer roles, with Reuben Casey continuing as the latter with additional responsibilities. The appointment of Mr Kinraid, who will also become company secretary, takes effect immediately.
Perpetual Credit Income Trust (PCI):
Perpetual Credit Income Trust began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange for the first time at 11am, following its oversubscribed initial public offering of 400 million units at $1.10 each. Money Editor Stephen Miles says the fund is designed to provide individual investors with access to credit and fixed income assets that they cannot easily source themselves. Its portfolio will typically contain between 50-100 domestic and global credit and fixed income assets, including corporate bonds, floating rate notes, securitised assets and private debt -- mainly corporate loans. "We developed the fund to meet the needs of individual investors who want sustainable, regular monthly income," said portfolio manager Michael Korber.
Wiseway Group Ltd (WWG):
It's been a rough morning for Wiseway Group shareholders with an earnings downgrade. The logistics and freight company slashed its anticipated earnings, blaming the "subdued Chinese economy" for the lower than expected growth in freight volume. Wiseway had forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of $8.5 million for this financial year, but on Tuesday downgraded that figure to just $3 million. That news was not well-received by the market, with Wiseway's share price collapsing 13.3 per cent, down to $0.26. It marks the company's lowest ever share price after it joined the ASX at $0.42 in October last year.
Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FMG):
Fortescue Metals has just announced a massive increase in its dividend from 19 cents to 60 cents per share, fully franked and payable on 14 June. The share price has just jumped from $7.60 to $7.90 on the news. Total dividends for the current financial year are 90 cents, including a 19-cent interim dividend and 11 cent special dividend declared in February. "This dividend reflects Fortescue's unwavering determination to deliver shareholder returns through dividends and investment in growth," chief executive Elizabeth Gains tells the market. "The strength of our operating cashflows enables further accelerated distribution of franking credits to eligible shareholders, inclusive of the 2018-19 interim and special dividends totalling A$0.30 per share". The 47 per cent increase in iron ore prices is the key driver behind Fortescue's cashflow, the company says in its market statement.
Downer EDI Limited (DOW):
Downer has won $220 million contract with Chorus Limited to build and maintain network infrastructure for New Zealand’s largest telecommunications company. The engineering firm said the 2 3/4-year contract will expand its New Zealand footprint when it begins on July 1. “This contract doubles our geographic spread and we will work with Chorus on the construction and maintenance of their network,” chief executive Grant Fenn said on Tuesday.