Spare a thought for Wesfarmers’ boss Robb Scott. To the surprise of no one, shareholders in Scott’s $776 million lithium takeover target, Kidman Resources, voted overwhelming yesterday to accept the $1.90-a-share bid Scott lobbed back on May 2.
The competition regulator has greenlit Wesfarmers’ acquisition of online retailer Catch Group for $230 million as the company attempts to improve its online performance in the face of growing competition from the likes of Amazon.
Wesfarmers has lifted the value of its current spending spree to more than $1 billion with the news yesterday that it was paying $230 million for the Australian online retailer Catch Group Holdings Limited.
Wesfarmers is scheduled to report on February 19, and Credit Suisse anticipates a "solid" performance despite some industrials issues. Sales growth at Bunnings is believed to be accelerating and Kmart, despite overall tough conditions for retail, should come out well, assisted by logistics problems in the past.
Wesfarmers' result was not as strong as it appeared on the headline, given various one-offs, and underlying earnings only exceeded UBS' forecast slightly. Bunnings missed the mark and Kmart and industrials earnings declined.
After the de-merger of Coles ((COL)) more than 50% of the company's operating earnings (EBIT) will come from Bunnings. Macquarie's survey indicates a slowing residential market may ultimately lead to slower sales for Bunnings and weak seasonal conditions in NSW also impinge.