Financial News from The Motley Fool Australia

  • Best and worst stocks on the ASX today The Motley Fool Australia - 22 hours ago

    The ASX has posted another rise, following US markets higher. The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO ) (ASX: XJO) finished Thursday's shortened trading week with a gain of 0.52%. Overnight the Dow Jones rallied ...

  • Japara Healthcare Ltd gives IPO investors a 27.5% stag profit – what investors need to know The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 3:13 PM AEST

    Freshly floated aged care operator Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX:JHC) has surged 27.5% to $2.55 by early afternoon on Thursday after debuting on the stock market this morning. It's an amazing immediate profit for IPO investors - otherwise known as a 'stag profit'. The initial public offering (IPO) was priced at $2.00 per share which equated to an expensive looking 22.6 times price-to-earnings (PE) ratio. The market however appears comfortable with ascribing a high value to Japara, with investors excited by the quality of the business and its growth potential.

  • McAleese Ltd plunges 15.5% – Should you sell too? The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:47 AM AEST

    If you were unlucky enough to receive an allocation in the McAleese Ltd (MCS.AX) initial public offering (IPO) last November, or unfortunate enough to have decided to purchase stock on market since the IPO you are no doubt bewildered by the transport company's second profit warning which has sent the share price down 15.5% to close at a new all-time low of 43.5 cents. Perhaps one comforting factor for investors is that Chairman and now CEO Mark Rowsthorn - who was previously CEO at rail freight company Asciano Ltd (AIO.AX) and before that a senior director at freight and logistics group Toll Holdings Limited (TOL.AX) - owns around 30% of McAleese, so at least he is feeling the pain of the company's dismal performance too! McAleese has certainly been the worst of the recent bundle of floats to hit the market and a far cry from Beacon Lighting Group Ltd's (ASX:BLX) 60% gain on debut. It's a good reminder that IPO investing does not guarantee profits and sooner or later - in McAleese's case sooner - the stock price will be driven by fundamentals not hype.

  • What the Federal Court decision means for our supermarkets’ petrol retailing businesses The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 8:20 AM AEST

    I've written several times about Woolworths Limited (WOW.AX) and Coles-owned Wesfarmers Ltd (WES.AX) ongoing skirmishes with the ACCC over their supermarket petrol discount offers. Both supermarkets have continued to push the boundaries of agreements with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) since limiting the size of their fuel discounts in January this year. The latest phase saw the two supermarkets in court over offering additional discounts for customers who spend money at the convenience stores linked to petrol stations. These discounts could be combined with 4c/litre vouchers from allied supermarkets in order to achieve discounts as high as 14 cents per litre for Coles and 8c per litre for Woolworths.

  • Your instant 5-share financial portfolio The Motley Fool Australia - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 7:43 AM AEST

    While many may argue that no financial portfolio could be complete without a bank stock in it, there are reasons for and against the inclusion of banks. On the 'for' side, given banks are weighted so heavily within our indices there is a 'risk' from not holding them. On the 'against' side, the riskiness of a bank's business model and their complex accounts which are close to incomprehensible for most investors, coupled with their current lofty valuations leads me to suggest it is acceptable to steer clear of them. As an alternative to owning a bank consider listed investment company Argo Investments Limited (ARG.AX).

  • What you need to know from BHP Billiton Limited’s 3Q production report The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:42 PM AEST

    BHP Billiton Limited (BHP.AX) has this morning released a set of impressive results for its third quarter operations which included record production across four commodities as well as an upgraded full-year guidance for both iron ore and metallurgical coal. Record production at all Queensland Coal operations and a successful ramp-up at its Daunia mine also saw the miner increase its guidance for metallurgical coal (also used in steel production) for the year. The full-year guidance of 1.7 million tonnes for copper remained unchanged while guidance for petroleum production was rebased at 245 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) following the successful divestment of Liverpool Bay.

  • Could Suncorp Group Ltd be paying a special dividend in August? The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:35 PM AEST

    The insurer and banker Suncorp Group Ltd (SUN.AX) is getting more attention for its moves to change the company and build up excess capital. In the meantime, it raised the interim dividend 40% to 35 cents per share to show how current finances and earnings growth going forward are improving. The broker Morgans wrote in a recent "high conviction ideas" note that it expects Suncorp to pay a 20 cps special dividend in August. In the same note Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG.AX) is expected to achieve low premium growth by Morgans' analysts.

  • Equity Trustees Ltd drops 22% as IOOF rejects the institutional imperative The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 6:15 AM AEST

    The trustee sector continues to consolidate with the announcement last week by Equity Trustees Ltd (EQT.AX) that it had agreed to acquire ANZ Trustees from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) for $150 million. The acquisition comes just over four months after Equity Trustees lost out to Perpetual Limited (ASX PPT) in the battle to win control of peer, Trust Company. An interesting result of Perpetual's winning bid for Trust Co was an agreement with IOOF Holdings Limited (IFL.AX) for the purchase of 1.2 million shares in Equity Trustees that belonged to Perpetual as a result of the takeover of Trust Co. The outcome of this transaction was IOOF effectively gaining a strategic 13% stake in Equity Trustees. While this strategic stake naturally led some analysts to question how long it would be before IOOF launched its own takeover for Equity Trustees and consolidated the sector further, it now appears that the 13% share grab was very much an opportunistic purchase and more about securing a future bargaining chip.

  • These 5 dividend plays should be in your portfolio The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 5:11 AM AEST

    OrotonGroup Limited (ORL.AX): Current Price – $4.04; The company's shares have plummeted over the last 12 months following the loss of the key contract with Ralph Lauren, but seem to have stabilised since the beginning of March.

  • Why you should buy New Zealand’s answer to eBay today The Motley Fool Australia - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 5:00 AM AEST

    Trade Me Group Ltd (TME.AX) is one of New Zealand's most popular websites offering auction and classified services. It is considered the "eBay of New Zealand" and is New Zealand's premier auction website. The company listed on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges in December 2011.  Since listing, the company's share price has increased by an impressive 63%. The company has a strong competitive advantage and has limited competition within the New Zealand market.

  • 10 things you need to know about Rio Tinto Limited’s 1Q production report The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 1:29 PM AEST

    This morning, Rio Tinto Limited (RIO.AX) released its production report for the first quarter of 2014. Versus 1Q 2013, iron ore production was up 8% Versus 4Q 2013, iron ore production dropped 6% as a result of tropical cyclone Christine In 2014 Rio expects to produce 295 million tonnes of iron ore (2013:266mt)

  • Badgerys Creek to be named as Sydney’s second airport The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 10:34 AM AEST

    One of the worst kept political secrets is likely to be let out of the bag today, with the federal government set to announce Badgerys Creek as Sydney’s second airport. According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR) the government is expected to announce its decision to approve the go-ahead for a second Sydney airport, to be built at Badgerys Creek in Sydney’s West. The suburb, which is 51 kilometres west of the CBD, was first named as the site of Sydney’s second airport almost thirty years ago, in 1986. Construction never started, with multiple options proposed including the NSW government’s idea of using Canberra as a second international airport.

  • 10 top tech stocks hit hard by last week’s selloff The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 8:14 AM AEST

    Last week's pull back in US technology stocks has so far resulted in a 7% drop in the NASDAQ Index, but only a 2% drop in the S&P 500, and really hasn't had any impact on the ASX 200 index, which is flat over the same period. The fall in the NASDAQ has seen some of America's biggest and best technology stocks suffer. Google Inc (GOOGL) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) have plunged over 10% since mid-March over concerns surrounding their valuation. Well-known website owners REA Group Limited (REA.AX), Carsales.com Limited (CRZ.AX) and SEEK Limited (SEK.AX) have also been punished by between 6% and 10% as sky-high price-to-earnings valuations saw investors lock in profits from previous months.

  • Why you should buy Westfield Group today The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 6:00 AM AEST

    Shares in global shopping centre giant Westfield Group (WDC.AX) have so far outperformed the gains made by the S&P/ASX 200 Index (^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) in 2014, having risen 3.9% compared to the index's 1.1% gain. The first factor is the pending controversial merger proposal with Westfield Retail Trust (WRT.AX) which has dominated headlines since December 4 when it was announced. The proposal would have Westfield Group's Australian and New Zealand assets merged with the Trust to form Scentre Group. Westfield Group's international assets would then be spun-off into a separate entity known as Westfield Corporation, which would manage all of the company's international assets and redevelopment projects.

  • 4 boom-time stocks you don’t know The Motley Fool Australia - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 5:00 AM AEST

    The first stock is Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (LNG.AX). Its flagship project named Magnolia, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is a liquefaction project which hopes to produce 8 million tonnes of natural gas per annum for a number of major tolling clients. Yellow Brick Road Holdings Ltd (YBR.AX) is another small-cap with huge potential.

  • Protect your portfolio from downside risk with these 3 rock-solid blue chips The Motley Fool Australia - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 11:57 AM AEST

    With this comprehension of the unknowable, investors can instead focus on what they can know, namely value. Buying quality stocks which can survive and prosper though all the economic seasons is a smart "all-weather" approach to investing which can protect investors from permanent loss of capital. But buying quality blue-chip stocks isn't enough, it's also necessary to not overpay. One of the reasons blue-chip stocks are so popular with investors is they possess key attributes which provide protection to investors against the downside risk of permanent loss of capital.

  • What if this is the cheapest business on the ASX? The Motley Fool Australia - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 6:15 AM AEST

    Contrarian investors will buy companies that have experienced substantial price falls in the belief they can make big profits by contradicting conventional wisdom to buy companies oversold as a result of weak sentiment around them. One candidate is online travel operator Wotif.com Holdings Limited (WTF.AX). The group attributed the decrease to increased costs from strategic investment in marketing and technology, whereas the price crash is reflective of the profit fall and market worries that big U.S. competitors like Expedia and Priceline will muscle in on its market share.