Financial News from The Motley Fool Australia

  • Best and worst stocks on the ASX today The Motley Fool Australia - 15 hours ago

    The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO ) (ASX: XJO) has finished the Thursday before Anzac Day up 0.24% and the shortened trading week up 1.41% at 5,531. The ASX shook off a poor lead overnight from Wall ...

  • ResMed investors wake up to its potential on quarterly results The Motley Fool Australia - 21 hours ago

    Dual-listed ResMed Inc. (CHESS) (RMD.AX) (RSMDF) jumped more than 3% higher in early trade this morning after it announced record revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. Total revenue was US$397.8 million a 4% increase on the corresponding quarter in 2013. For the corresponding nine-month period total revenue was also up 4% and earnings per share were up an impressive 11%. The U.S government has been undertaking a serious cost-cutting drive in the wake of its gaping fiscal deficit, although with the effects of that now fully adjusted into ResMed's business model it may be about to power up again.

  • Why Westfield Group’s US division makes it such an appealing investment The Motley Fool Australia - 22 hours ago

    Westfield Group’s (WDC.AX) strategy to strengthen its portfolio by redeveloping its most iconic stores seems to be working with some of the world's largest retailers lining up to be a part of the company's much anticipated World Trade Centre (WTC) mall. While it is believed that Michael Kors, Apple and Victoria's Secret have already signed leases at the centre, other big names like Tiffany, Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford are also expected to take out some of the most sought after stores. Although Westfield's earnings are currently coming under pressure, given their various divestments from assets they considered to be non-core, the long term is looking far brighter. While Westfield Group might enjoy a dominant market position and a steady income stream from its Australian and New Zealand platforms, it can be concluded that the group sees greater opportunities ahead in countries like the US and UK.

  • Is it time to party for these IT businesses? The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:00 AM AEST

    SMS Management & Technology Limited (SMX.AX) operates through two divisions. MS Consulting offers a wide range of services including performance improvement, process management, customer relationship management, infrastructure management and an extensive range of managed services.

  • Add these 4 top healthcare stocks to your watchlist The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:35 AM AEST

    Investors in some of Australia's largest and most successful healthcare stocks have seen spectacular returns over the last 12 months. Gains of over 50% have been common and I believe we will continue to see healthcare stocks outperform. Here are four healthcare stocks set to continue delivering great shareholder returns in the year ahead: Ramsay Health Care Limited (RHC.AX) owns and operates private hospitals in a range of major metropolitan and rural communities.

  • Is it the dawn of a new era for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc? The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:27 AM AEST

    It's been an interesting time for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOX.AX) over the past year, as its demerger from News Limited was completed and its intentions to delist from the ASX were floated in front of shareholders. Fox shareholders have now approved the delisting, and Fox received approval for an unconditional delisting (merely a formality) from the Australian Securities Exchange last month. Fox shares will stop public trading from 1 May and the company will be delisted on 8 May. A voluntary share sale will continue until 9 July, allowing shareholders to sell their holdings, and from 16 July, all remaining shareholders will have their shares converted into NASDAQ Twenty-First Century Fox Inc common shares (NASDAQ: FOX: FOXA).

  • Should you buy Oil Search Limited? The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:00 AM AEST

    Earlier in the year, I wrote about Oil Search Limited (OSH.AX) and its curious nature. All three are ramping-up production and exploration efforts, and pay a better dividend at a fairer price.

  • Retailers to receive data that may boost profit-making potential The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:28 PM AEST

    Until now, retailers have had to rely on monthly retail sales figures released by the major banks based solely on credit card transactions (which account for 60% of retail spending), as well as statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which shows almost two-month-old data. However, retailers will now be provided with far more up-to-date figures after today's launch of the Australian Retail Index, created by BDO and Retail Express, which showed that retail sales rose 8.4% over Easter. It will also give a much more in-depth understanding of how consumers are making their purchases - whether that be via cash, credit card or lay-buys. This is excellent news for Aussie retailers like Myer Holdings Ltd (MYR.AX), David Jones Limited (DJS.AX) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (JBH.AX), which will be able to gauge how effective their promotions have been or which items are performing particularly well at any given time.

  • Your instant 5-share income portfolio The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 8:19 AM AEST

    It’s currently trading at a discount after a setback in its share price thanks to missed earnings guidance and write-downs on its troubled SPC Ardmona business. Currently its forecast FY14 dividend yield is 5.8%.

  • These 3 small caps have moved into the buy zone The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 8:07 AM AEST

    The NASDAQ rout in the US took huge chunks out of the share prices of some pretty significant US tech stocks. Companies with little or no earnings, priced for growth, or without proven technologies behind the business saw sharp share price declines. The share prices of these three small-cap stocks have fallen sharply recently without any meaningful company-specific announcements. The share price has fallen from a high of 35 cents early in the year to 22 cents at the close on Friday, seemingly due to the US aversion to tech stocks.

  • Can you profit from Australia’s 3 best casino stocks? The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 7:39 AM AEST

    Australia has three large pure-play casino companies listed on the ASX. Crown Resorts Ltd (CWN.AX) owns the Melbourne casino, Perth casino, a casino in London, and a stake in a resort and casino complex in Macau. Echo Entertainment Group Ltd (EGP.AX) owns The Star casino in Sydney, the Treasury Brisbane, Jupiters casino and hotel in Townsville, Gold Coast Convention Centre, and the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

  • Santos Limited’s profit could be set to double, should you buy? The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 6:00 AM AEST

    And investors stand to reap the benefits with Santos' board vowing to increase distributions to shareholders as the substantial cash flows rise. But if Santos is to hit the billion-dollar profit mark there are a number of barriers it will have to cross first. First and foremost, Santos will need to successfully complete construction of its two major projects which are to be the source of the growth. These are PNG LNG, which Santos is completing with partner Oil Search Limited (OSH.AX) and Queensland's GLNG.

  • 3 hot stocks for the housing boom The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 4:30 AM AEST

    House prices are soaring, building approvals are rising, household finance is in check, home-loan approvals are booming, and consumers are spending. These are all facts revealed by data released by the ABS in recent weeks, which is simply a great sign for Australian investors and homeowners. Rising house prices tend to bring out the renovation specialists. There's almost no better way to get exposure to a new generation of renovators than to invest in Australia's dominant paint brand, DuluxGroup Limited (DLX.AX).

  • These 2 pharmaceuticals look set to roll The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 4:44 PM AEST

    Reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) have had a large impact on the financial performance of pharmaceuticals over the last couple of years, however conditions are now easing, offering opportunities in a demographically favourable sector. Sigma Pharmaceutical Limited (SIP.AX) is Australia's largest pharmacy driven wholesaler through the brands Amcal (including Amcal Max) and Guardian. The recent acquisition of Central Healthcare adds access to the large private and public hospital markets. Other initiatives by Sigma include the further development of exclusive and private labels, which are expected to cover over 300 products by the end of the 2014 calendar year;

  • 2 blue-chip stocks that you should own, but probably don’t The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:48 AM AEST

    Though investors who held this share through the GFC (where it dropped $25) may be a little gun-shy, Goodman Group has been a solid performer in the years since. Consistent growth in operating profit (the groups preferred measure of profitability) over the past four years is impressive and looks likely to continue into the future with the group's strong development pipeline and foreign currency exposure. It also pays a 4.1% (unfranked) dividend which increases fairly consistently year-on-year. Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL.AX)

  • Supercharge your returns with 3 companies primed for growth The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 7:27 AM AEST

    If you’re looking to buy and hold some businesses over the long term then its worth looking to high-growth businesses with potential to set you up for a really comfortable future. The businesses you want are those able to consistently grow year-on-year. Cash Converters International Ltd (CCV.AX) is a business with big growth plans that is trading at an attractive price of $1.04. It franchises stores that sell second-hand goods and already has over 700 stores in 21 countries.

  • National Australia Bank Ltd still behind on business satisfaction The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 6:36 AM AEST

    Although it has improved its standing amongst business customers, National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB.AX) is still lagging behind its big four peers in terms of customer satisfaction, according to the monthly DBM Consultants Business Financial Services Monitor (BFSM). While Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) each scored an average 7.4 out of 10 customer satisfaction rating, NAB, which remains Australia's largest business lender, scored an average of 7.0. The bank improved its standing amongst small and medium-sized businesses but is being dragged down by its weaker ranking amongst micro businesses, scoring just 6.9. This is a key area the banks need to focus on considering the micro businesses make up nearly 90% of all Australian businesses, according to DBM director Maria Claridad.