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News

Hills To Post Third Straight Annual Loss

On Wednesday it was QBE and Retail Food Group that sprung profit downgrades or warnings, yesterday it was Adelaide based Hills that told the market (it is after all the so-called confession time for June 30 balancing companies) that its recovery plan has stalled and a third yearly loss is in sight.

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Analyst Views

HIL – Citi rates the stock as Buy

The ACCC has cleared the sale of Hills’ Orrcon Steel to Bluescope ((BSL)) but the regulator wants to conduct further inquiries before approving the sale of Fielders. The decision has been pushed back to end Jan and the sales are interdependent (both or nothing), albeit Hills remains confident. The broker expects a successful sale to have a positive impact on Hills’ balance sheet and to allow the company to focus on core assets.

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HIL – Citi rates the stock as Buy

Hills seems to be clawing its way back from the doldrums, with asset sales reducing debt to virtually zero and with the company yesterday issuing a profit upgrade, predicting it will beat the top of current market estimates for the present financial year. The company does expect FY14 to remain challenging, but Citi analysts see a healthy balance sheet opening up acquisitive opportunities again.

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HIL – Citi rates the stock as Buy, High Risk

Hills management delivered the bad news everyone was already expecting: production of pipes and tubes in Unanderra continues hurting the bottom line and it has now been decided to cease production overall. Citi analysts quickly point out all costs should be taken in FY11, leaving the opportunity for FY12 to start anew without this major drag.

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