The market ended up not liking the interim result from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, despite an initial positive response.Read More
We saw in the Fairfax Media result on Monday, a hint of the enormous growth in revenue for online advertising.Read More
Count Financial probably escaped a beating yesterday at the hands of investors when it missed its confident forecast of a 25 per cent lift in 2007 earnings.Read More
Cochlear, the artificial hearing implant group, provided investors with some joy yesterday.Read More
Discount electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi beat its 2006 full year earnings in half the time this year.Read More
Yes the Reserve Bank remains concerned about inflation, and no, interest rates are not going to rise again this year, so long as wages don’t rise and ‘things don’t get out of hand’, to paraphrase the central message from the central bank’s first Monetary Police Statement of the year.Read More
Like Qantas, Fairfax Media is one of those companies where it would befair to ask just where the share price would be now if it hadn’t been for the takeover deal with Rural Press and the share raid by News Corp last year.Read More
A predictably unanimous recommendation from the independent directors of Qantas to shareholders accept the $5.60 (actually $5.45) a share offer from Airline Partners Australia.Read More
Virgin Blue will soon be the largest of our listed airlines: that’s when Qantas leaves with the Australian Airline Partners takeover almost certain to go ahead, Government and politicians willing.Read More
Suddenly, the US housing downturn has gone from being a question of housing starts, permits and sales and the narrow impact on suppliers and operators, to having a widening impact on the US financial system.Read More
It was probably one of the silliest ideas promoted by a politician in recent years: a proposal to put a levy of two per cent onto all fixed rate home mortgages in New Zealand.Read More
Housing has traditionally been the source of much of Australia’s booms and busts but for the past three years it’s been side-lined by the resources boom.Read More
Another six month high for gold in New York as oil prices hit $US60 a barrel and worries continued to mount about the health of some parts of the US mortgage industry and some of the participants.Read More
Engineering company, WorleyParsons, has become the second Australian company to make a major sortie into the huge Canadian oil (tar) sands industry this week.Read More
Is Telstra getting a bit too pushy and arrogant?Read More
Lion Nathan disappointed the market yesterday when it didn’t reactivate its suspended share buyback plan.Read More
Rain is having a beneficial impact on the outlook for Futuris Corp, the rural services group which yesterday reported a six per cent rise in interim net profit to $33.1 million from $31.1 million.Read More
The market reaction said it all.Read More
Here’s BHP Billiton’s view of the world,over the past half year and looking ahead. It is surprisingly optimistic, especially about the declining influence of the US economy, the sustainability of the China boom and the strength of commodity prices for at the ‘medium term’ as they put (the next three years).Read More
The market shrugged off the latest gloomy news and outlook for building products group, Boral which produced a 14.6 per cent decline in interim earnings yesterday and forecast more of the same in the second half.Read More
‘Satisfactory’ I suppose is the way the interim result from Hills Industries should be best described.
It’s what the company said about the result and the outlook for the rest of the 2007 year.
Hills is a more complex beast these days: it’s no longer the maker of the iconic Hills Hoist: That’s still there but no longer the reason for its being.
After tax earnings up 12 per cent, a little faster than the 7.9 per cent rise at the pre-tax level and expectations of “satisfactory results for the full year.”
First half net came to $23.94 million, compared with $21.37 million for the previous interim period of 2006. This was after the rise in pre tax to $36.68 million from $34 million.
The latest result was struck on an 8.2 per cent rise in revenues to $511 million from $472 million. It was the first revenues had risen above half a billion dollars in an interim period.
Directors said the company “remained committed to its current dividend policy and would continue to pay around 100 per cent of it’s after tax profits to shareholders as interim and final dividends.”
To this end, Hills will pay an interim dividend of 13.5 cents per share, fully franked, compared to from 13 cents previously.
Earnings per share rose to 14c a share from 12.9c and the company said that the ration was kept as close to 100 per cent as possible.
CEO David Simmons said “Our policy hasn’t changed – we pay out around 100 per cent of earnings and in the last couple of years we’ve paid a little over 100 percent.
“If we’re within a point or two of 100 percent, plus or minus, we’re happy. It certainly shouldn’t be interpreted as any progressive reduction.”
And he said the company’s dividend re-investment program was being strongly supported by shareholders.
“We’ve had pretty consistent support of about 40 to 45 percent. The main reason is we’ve now got around 22,000 shareholders, whereas in the early days of the plan we had larger institutions, whose decision whether or not to reinvest could change the support level significantly.
“We’re relatively relaxed the plan will continue to get support.”
Hills operates in three areas: home and hardware, electronic security and entertainment and building and industrial products.
Its home, hardware and eco products division was the best performer with a 30 per cent rise in EBIT; the building and industrial products division saw EBIT rise 8.4 per cent; an EBIT in the electronic security and entertainment division rose by 7.6 per cent.
Mr Simmons told the Corporate file briefing on the ASX that in the first half “we experienced more of a cost-margin issue than any direct impact on consumer spending from interest rates.”
“Last year we had a lot of volatility in commodities from steel to oil-based products like plastics, which was very difficult to manage in terms of the short-term recovery of cost increases.
“In the first half, oil prices were actually down in comparison with six months before, albeit not dramatically, so our challenge was to drive down the inputs that have oil as their base. When commodity prices group, the increases come rapidly but when they come down, you’ve got to chase them.
“The other big issue has been transportation costs. We’ve had fuel surcharge levies applied across our businesses, and we’re working to make sure we get them aligned to where fuel prices are.
“Our business isn’t one that’s directly impacted by the vagaries of weather patterns but one potential risk to our earnings would be consumer confidence – it doesn’t take much to shake the level of confidence.
“Another risk is posed by the skills shortage, in that fabrication work associated with many of the major infrastructure projects could be done offshore and shipped in. It’s fabrication in Australia where we see opportunities, particularly in our Building and Industrial Products business.”
A week after building up a 6.7 per cent stake and suggesting closer co-operation and making a ‘confidential proposal’ Primary Health Care has proposed a “merger of equals” with its rival,Symbion Health.Read More
Not for the first time Macquarie Bank's operational update failed to convince the market.Read More
For a while late last week the market had it wrong about metal basher, Bradken.Read More
Holders of Centro Properties can expect analysts to boost their forecasts for the year after the property investor and funds manager revealed a 15.2 per cent rise to in distributable earnings for the December 31 half.Read More
Left like’shag on a rock’, or like a jilted lover: whatever way you describe it BlueScope Steel and its board have some tough decisions to make in the next short while.Read More
Qantas is becoming a bit of a headache for the intending acquirers and the Federal Government.Read More
After a month of silence Origin Energy says it has started talks with rival AGL Energy on a merger to form a company that would supply power and gas to half of eastern Australia’s households.Read More
Argo Investments is planning a strategic capital raising of $441 million from its 54,000 shareholders in an attempt to build cash reserves to position itself to take advantage of any volatility in the market.Read More
Mondays these past few weeks have usually seen the market in Australia start with a bang after a solid finish to US bourses and commodity prices on the previous Friday night.Read More
Gold prices stumbled late last week as better than expected US economic figures were released and worries emerged about the health of a hedge fund investor in commodities.Read More
Is Coles’ chances of being snaffled by a buyout group led by KKR of the US, disappearing in London where there seems to be a repeat of last year’s bidding for Coles with recovering UK retail giant, Sainsbury?Read More
Federal parliament resumes this week for 2007 and you can bet that Iraq, water, climate change, industrial relations and the federal election will be on everyone’s lips and press releases.Read More
A solid result from Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company with full-year profit rising 43 per cent to a record $US 7.44 billion (around $A9.6 billion)Read More
The highly competitive Telco markets of mobile, broadband and new generation technologies seem to be on the verge of another war between Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Hutchison, Telecom NZ/AAPT and anyone else who can keep up.Read More
Primary Health Care’s play for the much larger Symbion Health is being seen by some analysts as a ploy to get taken out by its bigger rival.Read More
For a bank the past three months have certainly seen some market action in Adelaide Bank (ADB).Read More
Woolworths’ strong second quarter and first half sales gains were well anticipated by investors this week, the shares climbing from just under $23.10 at the start to a high yesterday of $23.94 after they were released.Read More
The ACCC won’t stand in the way of the restructured deal which will see a joint venture between OneSteel and Smorgon Steel Group.Read More
A solid result for diversified building industry supplier, Alesco Corporation, and off goes the company’s shares, hitting an all time intra day high of $12.40 at one stage yesterdayRead More