Shares in AMP have dropped to fresh record lows in opening trade after advising the sale of its life insurance arm was unlikely to proceed. In a statement to the market this morning, AMP said the sale to Resolution Life was “highly unlikely” to proceed ton current terms due to challenges in gaining Reserve Bank of New Zealand approval. As a result, the company said it doesn’t expect to pay an interim dividend. AMP shares last down to $1.83.
Atlas Arteria Group (ASX:ALX) & Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG):
A historical moment for Atlas Arteria this morning with Macquarie Group lodging a notice advising it is no longer a substantial holder. Atlas Arteria shares are down 1.4 per cent to $7.63. The 109-page disclosure notice includes 20 pages listing all of the Macquarie Group-controlled entities that may have owned shares in the toll road operator. The company owns four toll roads, three located in Europe and one running around Washington DC. Atlas Arteria started life as Macquarie Infrastructure Group, which was reorganised in 2010. Earlier this year Atlas Arteria and Macquaire Group decided the company would be better managed internally, rather than by Macquarie Fund Advisors. Hence the split and farewell.
Boss Resources Ltd (ASX:BOE):
Uranium miner Boss Resources has good news direct from US President Donald Trump, who has decided to ignore a petition by two US Uranium producers to buy domestic. President Trump does not agree with a US Commerce Department investigation that found uranium imports threaten national security. Shares are up nearly 12 per cent today to 5.9 cents. "Boss believes this outcome is very positive for Australian producers and the uranium market as a whole, as the declined restrictions may have created long term distortions in the market which could have further impacted the recovery of the uranium market," the company tells the market this morning. The company's managing director, Duncan Craib, says it has solid relationships with US utility companies "with whom we have been discussing off-take contracts". Boss owns the Honeymoon Uranium project in South Australia, laying to the west of Broken Hill.
Carsales.Com Ltd (ASX:CAR):
Carsales.com is looking a bit overpriced, according to Morgans analyst Ivor Ries who cut his rating to Reduce to Add after strong share price gains. “Carsales is now trading on an EV/EBITDA multiple of 16.8x FY20F, which seems to be an overly rich multiple for a company that we expect will at best have single digit earnings growth in FY20,” he says. “We retain a positive view on the company’s long-term prospects but in the short term the share price appears to have moved well ahead of fundamentals.” CAR shares are dropping on this rating change, last down 2.3pc to $14.01.
DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) & Parazero Ltd (ASX:PRZ):
In drone news, DroneShield has a new gun called the MKIII. It is a pistol-shaped drone jammer weighing less than 2kg with a shorter range of 500m. It is designed for one-hand operation and will disrupt the drone's signal and force it to immediately descend or hover until its batteries deplete, then return 'home' to the operator. Shares in DroneShield are up 3.2 per cent to 16 cents this morning, the highest price since February. Meanwhile ParaZero has received Transport Canada compliance, allowing two of its products to fly above people, the DJI Phantom 4 Series and the DJI Mavic 2 Series. Its shares are flat at 7.5 cents.
Elders Ltd (ASX:ELD):
Elders announced this morning it will pay $10.85 per share, in a mix of half scrip and half cash, for 100 per cent of Australian Independent Rural Retailers (AIRR). The idea has already been unanimously recommended by AIRR's board, and Elders tells shareholders the purchase could deliver "low single digit earnings per share accretion on a 2018-19 pro forma basis", and over 10 per cent EPS accretion once synergies are realised. "Acquiring AIRR will give Elders a national wholesale platform. By preserving continuing of AIRR's key management team and independent identity through a light touch integration, AIRR will continue to deliver the benefits to its independent members which have enabled it to achieve a track record of consistent growth," Elders chief executive Mark Allison tells the market.
Objective Corporation Limited (ASX:OCL):
Shares in governance software company Objective Corporation are up 10.3 per cent to $3.10 today after it revealed unaudited recurring revenue is up 13 per cent and post-tax profit is likely to be 23 per cent higher this financial year to $9.1 million. In a market update this morning Objective corp said although it finished key contracts with the Defense department and IBM last financial year, it replaced this revenue with higher margin software revenue. "Reinforcing the success of our ongoing transition to subscription revenue; all key subscription product lines grew strongly," it tells the market. "We are very please with the company's overall performance in 2018-19. While revenue remained flat, we delivered margin expansion, growth in annual recurring revenue, enhancements across our suite of products, welcomed new customers and assisted existing customers evolve and expend their solutions", chief executive Tony Walls told the market this morning. He says the company will make acquisitions in this financial year and expects all business units to be contributing to profit by July 2021.
Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT):
Perpetual has posted net outflows of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter, adding to the $1.9bn in outflows in the previous quarter. In an update to the market, Perpetual Investments posted funds under management of $27.1 billion, a decrease of $0.3 billion on the prior quarter. Outflows from Australian Equities accounted for much of the decline ($1.2bn), primarily from institutional and intermediary channels, according to the fund.
Praemium Ltd (ASX:PPS):
Shares in Praemium jumped 11.25 per cent this morning to 44 cents after it released a June quarter update showing funds under administration on its platform have reached $9.53 billion. It says June was the first quarter with a fully integrated managed accounts platform (IMA) and this contributed 8 per cent of the funds under management growth. "In Australia alone our market has expanded from the $21 billion separately managed accounts (SMA) platform segment to the $858 billion overall platform market, and we have seen strong client interest in Australia and internationally for the IMA," Praemium's chief executive Michael Ohanessian tells the market. The company's virtual managed account administration service (VMAAS) product made a significant contribution. This product helps advisors manage client assets in a holder ID number (HIN) based structure. "From a revenue perspective, the VMAAS is based on a flat fee per account. Based on our experience thus far, we expect VMAAS to deliver an average revenue per client similar to that of our custodial platform and hence will be an important driver of growth," Mr Ohanessian said.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO):
Diamond traders are getting ready for price rises in coloured diamonds with Rio Tinto on the weekend revealing the stones in what could be the last Argyle mine diamond tender. Rio Tinto shares are down 0.3 per cent to to $103.18 today. Meanwhile, IBIS World analyst Jason Aravanis, says this is the end of diamond mining in Australia... "at least until new discoveries are made." "The possibility of a new Argylelike diamond discovery is unlikely, and Rio Tinto is not currently pursuing exploration opportunities in Australia. If any discovery is made, it will be several years before the discovery is developed into an operating mine. Most of the Argyle mine workforce is expected to be absorbed into Rio Tinto's iron ore operations, or transferred to block cave mines overseas," said Mr Aravanis. He expects investor interest in the diamond tender will likely be higher this year, given the Argyle mine's imminent closure.