Cochlear’s 2018-19 results topped market expectations, Newcrest has ridden the rising gold price higher, Domain has cut its full-year dividend while investors have given oOh! Media’s 2019 profit downgrade a big thumbs down.
While Nine shares rose 2% to $1.77 in early trading on the news of the sale of ACM, Domain shares slid nearly 8% at one stage after it revealed a 13% slide in third-quarter property listings and a fall in revenue for the third quarter.
The fall out from last Friday’s trading updates from Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media ahead of the release of the documentation for their planned takeover deal continued to batter the media sector yesterday on the ASX.
The market reacted cautiously to the news that Fairfax Media’s property website offshoot, Domain Holdings, had found a new CEO to replace the foundation boss, Antony Catalano quit in January, citing ‘family reasons’. He has since gone back into the real estate listings game.
Macquarie observes cost management has offered more protection than previously expected against the headwinds to volume. Trading was slightly weaker than expected in July to October but offset by strong cost-cutting.
Weakness in property listings has become a familiar theme, Credit Suisse notes, and CoreLogic data show that in the second half of FY19 new listings in the capital cities were down -17%, with Sydney down -24% and Melbourne down -22%.
The resignation of CEO Anthony Catalano is an incremental negative for the shares and a surprise to Morgan Stanley, coming less than three months after the company’s IPO. The departure creates uncertainty over strategy and growth aspirations, the broker acknowledges.