|Bid||3.9000 x 0|
|Ask||3.5600 x 0|
|Day's range||3.3100 - 3.5600|
|52-week range||2.0300 - 7.4600|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.01|
|PE ratio (TTM)||6.44|
|Earnings date||21 Feb 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.27 (8.15%)|
|Ex-dividend date||02 Mar 2020|
|1y target est||7.08|
Australian regulators are investigating Qantas for suspending a health and safety representative who raised concerns about the airline’s failure to provide adequate safety equipment to prevent workers from catching the coronavirus. It comes as 11 Qantas baggage handlers working at Adelaide airport and two of their family members tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, forcing 100 airport staff to self-isolate and the cancellation of several flights, including one that was turned back to Sydney in mid flight. Michael Kaine, national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, said Qantas had failed to protect its employees and repeatedly played down the risk of exposing cleaners, baggage handlers and cabin crews to the virus.
(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s government will help charter hundreds of planes full of products such as rock lobster, beef and dairy to key markets including China and Japan, after the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of most commercial flights that usually carry fresh produce.The government will provide A$110 million ($68 million) to get Australian products to key markets, starting with the United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, the government said in a statement. The flights will leave from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.Recent international flight groundings by airlines including Qantas Airways Ltd. and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. have made it impossible to get products including chilled seafood, red meat, dairy products and some fruit and vegetables to offshore markets.“Getting our export sector back on its feet is crucial to reduce job losses through the crisis and a critical part of the ultimate economic recovery,” Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said. The planes will have capacity to carry medical supplies, medicines and equipment back to Australia.The support comes as demand for Australian produce in China and some other key Asian markets has started to recover as restaurants reopen after months of shutdowns. The drop in demand from China as well as the flight disruptions had pummeled global producers, causing U.S. lobster prices to fall to the lowest in at least four years and prompting New Zealand to release catches back into the wild.The freight plan is part of an overall A$170 million support package, which also includes marketing grants and fee waivers for commercial fishers.Brad Adams, CEO of the Western Australia-based company Ocean Grown Abalone Ltd, said there had been a small uptick in appetite from China, Hong Kong and Singapore, adding the company had sent a small shipment on a commercial flight to Hong Kong last weekend.“We’ve gone from no demand to some demand,” he said. “We’ve got some orders for the next few months, at greatly reduced volumes compared to what we’re capable of doing.”Julian Harrington, chief executive of the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council, also said there had been some improvement in demand for rock lobster and abalone in China. Australia’s domestic appetite for seafood remained minimal as hotels, restaurants and bars had progressively been shuttered as the government tries to stem the spread of the virus.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
We are in an ASX bear market. If you are looking for opportunities to buy the dip, here is 1 more ASX industry you might be better off avoiding in 2020.The post Another ASX industry to avoid in 2020 appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Much as Pan Am Corp. was an emblem of the first wave of global aviation, Emirates has dominated the world airline industry for a generation. Its announcement that almost all passenger flights will be suspended from Wednesday marks the death knell of that era.The Dubai-based carrier is the largest airline by international passenger traffic, with the capacity to move its customers 391 billion seat-kilometers last year. In terms of cross-border traffic, that’s twice the capacity of any U.S. airline and about a seventh more than the three European carriers that are its closest international competitors in terms of scale.The shutdown of that vast network is a hammer-blow not just for the industry but for people around the world. There’s a reason so many airlines are (like Emirates) state-owned, or have special rights and duties to their home countries written into their constitutions. They aren’t just a leisure service, they’re a piece of vital national and international infrastructure that can provide an airlift service in an emergency. Emirates’ initial announcement of a complete suspension of flights Sunday was subsequently updated to say that some destinations would remain open “having received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers.”Businesses that thrive on bustling cross-border traffic are inevitably going to struggle in current conditions. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., another carrier that, like Emirates, has no domestic aviation market, last week announced it was cutting 96% of capacity in April and May, which is as close as you can get to shutting down. Qantas Airways Ltd. is also ending international flights and Emirates’ local rival Etihad Airways PJSC has made drastic cuts to its schedules.We’ve seen something like this before. Pan Am went bankrupt amid the collapse in air travel that accompanied the 1991 Gulf War; its competitor Trans World Airlines Inc. entered the first of many Chapter 11 processes around the same time. Another wave of bankruptcies and rescue takeovers followed after the Sept. 11 attacks, and again after the 2008 financial crisis. More than a decade on from that, we’re probably overdue for another shakeout.That certainly looks like what we’re going to get. “Most airlines in the world” will be bankrupt by the end of May at current rates of cash burn, according to consultants CAPA Centre for Aviation. The industry needs about $200 billion in bailout money if it’s to survive, according to the International Air Transport Association, the largest group representing airlines.Emirates has some serious weaknesses as it approaches this perfect storm. Dubai’s status as the preeminent hub in the global network of transfer passengers, and its fleet of capacious twin-aisle jets, are as much a product of the recent era of promiscuous globalization as Pan Am’s fleet of gas-guzzling early-model 747s were a product of the era before the 1973 oil crisis.On an immediate level, that means it lacks even the meager domestic aviation cashflows that rivals in the U.S., China and elsewhere can fall back on. In the longer term, there’s the risk that Covid-19 and the Trump-driven trade wars that preceded it raise drawbridges across the world, leaving behind a dark mentality of xenophobia as gates are closed to outsiders. In that grim future, Emirates’ Benetton catalog-tinged vision of a multicultural world shaking hands at Dubai airport looks as outdated as, well, shaking hands.Even if things return to a semblance of normalcy at some point, Emirates’ golden years are behind it – a fact that neatly coincides with the upcoming retirement of Tim Clark, who led the airline since its inception.Rivals with bigger domestic markets have already been looking to use longer-haul 787s and A350s to skip past hub airports like Dubai altogether. The A320neo and the 737 MAX, should it recover from its current woes, will also bite off pieces of medium-haul traffic with budget carrier-style prices, undermining key routes into Europe and South Asia.Emirates still has some advantages in facing the coming conflagration. Unlike Etihad and Qatar Airways, it has never reported a loss in financial reports dating back to 1989. That’s a fairly extraordinary result for an airline that’s been around for so long — although there’s still a week still to go on its current financial year.Most importantly, though, the only shareholders it answers to are Dubai’s ruling Al Maktoum family. For decades, they’ve regarded the carrier as a crucial element of their oil-poor emirate’s strategy for a long-term economic future. With crude prices currently south of $30 and Gulf monarchies edging alarmingly close to burning through their own petrocash piles, that bet looks as sound as it’s ever been.If aviation is about to be crippled by a virus-driven resurgence of nationalism, it’s the carriers most closely bound up with their governments that stand the best chance of survival.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Qantas Airways Ltd. furloughed most of its 30,000-strong workforce and scrapped all international flights as travel demand dries up due to the coronavirus.Qantas and low-cost unit Jetstar will suspend overseas services from late March until at least the end of May, the Australian airline said Thursday. Domestic operations will also be cut 60%. Some 150 planes will be grounded.“Demand has evaporated,” Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said in a note to employees. “We have no work for most of our people. We have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.”Drastic measures became inevitable for Qantas after the Australian government advised against any overseas travel and banned domestic mass gatherings. Airlines are struggling to cope with a near complete halt in bookings as the virus sweeps across the world and triggers flying bans.Two-thirds of Qantas’s workers will be temporarily idled. While some will use accrued leave, or be given holidays in advance, it’s inevitable that others won’t be paid when they’re not working, the airline said.Qantas stock slumped 15% to A$2.14 at the close in Sydney as the company deferred payment of a previously announced shareholder dividend until September. Qantas has tumbled 70% this year.Airlines Need Up to $200 Billion to Survive Virus, IATA SaysDelta Air Lines Inc. earlier joined peers grounding more aircraft. The company is parking about half its fleet as it cuts flying capacity 70%, it said Wednesday. Other U.S. airlines have taken similar steps.The global airline industry needs government aid and bailout measures totaling between $150 billion and $200 billion if it’s to survive the crisis, according to the International Air Transport Association.Qantas also deepened top-level pay cuts. Senior management executives and the company’s directors won’t be paid until at least the end of the financial year ending June. CEO Joyce had already forgone his salary.(Updates with closing stock decline and deferred dividend in the sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One of the biggest repercussions from the Covid-19 outbreak in Australia ought to be the end of its island mentality. A near three-decade expansion fed a myth of invincibility that now seems to be coming to an end. Luckily, central bank chief Philip Lowe never fully bought into this hype, and has rightly accelerated plans that he'd been considering for some time to restore the economy. Let’s hope he’s not too late.On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of Australia deployed its remaining conventional monetary ammunition to offset a slowdown, amid predictions that gross domestic product would shrink this quarter and next. The RBA cut its main rate to almost zero, announced it will try to hold the three-year government bond yield at about 0.25% and unveiled a raft of support for banks. The federal government — long averse to the idea of prolonged deficits, and convinced surpluses equate to economic awesomeness — has also pledged to do its part.In response to the pandemic, Australia has effectively closed its borders, banned most gatherings of 100 people or more and declared a human biosecurity emergency. The country has 565 confirmed cases of the virus and six deaths. Cruise ships are clogging Sydney Harbor, Qantas Airways Ltd. furloughed most of its 30,000 employees, the cricket season has been curtailed and the southern island state of Tasmania has all but shut itself off from the mainland.Even before the virus arrived, it was a tough start to the year. A horrific bushfire season killed at least 28 people, destroyed an area almost the size of England and left thousands with respiratory issues. Fire has long been part of life on the continent, but with a population concentrated in cities and towns along a sliver of the east coast, it rarely touched the lives of urban Australians. Many saw their childhood seaside vacation spots ravaged and cities blanketed with noxious haze, as I’ve written.It’s not that a three-decade expansion shouldn’t be lauded — it even captured the attention of big names at the Federal Reserve — but the hubris surrounding it ended up blinding some officials to the crumbling economic conditions around them. The idea that the ultra-easy monetary policy deployed in the world’s biggest economies during the Great Recession would one day be required in Australia was met with disdain. The country basked in the new model it represented: a developed-world economy, with Western institutions, at home in the Asia Pacific and buoyed by proximity to China and other fast growing Asian markets.The Kool-Aid wasn't just being guzzled in economic circles. Hollywood stars, feted novelists, chefs and the 2000 Sydney Olympics fueled this sense of a magical wonderland. Australia even had a world-beating cricket team from about 1989 until fairly recently, trouncing the old rival England consistently until 2005. The team won five World Cups between 1987 and 2015, more than any other nation. Indeed, the idea Australia is somehow set apart from the rest of civilization has been a recurrent theme since British settlement in 1788: Early Sydney was largely built by convict labor.The one person who never appeared to buy into the propaganda, however, is RBA Governor Philip Lowe, who began his stint in 2016. Lowe has made the point in speeches that, within those sacramental recession-free decades, there have been distinct periods when activity had slackened and sped up. He has said that immigration has played a big role in keeping GDP expanding.The decision-making time frame has collapsed upon Lowe, as it has with his counterparts abroad. He spent a lot of time worrying about the consequences of too-low inflation and began laying the groundwork for the possibility of zero rates last year, when many people thought rate hikes were surely the next step. Lowe also tried to steer the public toward the idea that something more might also be needed, be it QE, yield-curve control or negative rates.Thursday's actions were a vindication of Lowe's foresight. But the crucible arrived far sooner, because of a public-health emergency, than anyone could have anticipated.With the Reserve Bank of New Zealand also considering QE, zero rates and unconventional policy — mainstream in Europe, Japan and the U.S. — will now be taken out for a spin in countries that are light on manufacturing and without a long history of big deficits. Perhaps a new kind of antipodean exceptionalism is emerging.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Daniel Moss is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian economies. Previously he was executive editor of Bloomberg News for global economics, and has led teams in Asia, Europe and North America.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned all Australian citizens not to travel abroad indefinitely and banned non-essential gatherings of 100 people or more, in a dramatic escalation of the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.The “Level 4” advice against any international travel is unprecedented, Morrison told reporters in Canberra Wednesday after meeting with the national cabinet and medical officials late yesterday.The government also declared a human biosecurity emergency to enable authorities to deal with the growing crisis that has infected more than 450 people in Australia and left five people dead. Schools and universities will remain open.“This is a once in a 100-year type of event,” Morrison said. “There is no two-week answer to what we are confronting,” he said. “We are looking at a situation of at least six months for how we deal with this.”Australia had already banned mass gatherings of 500 people or more, leading to a wave of sporting and cultural events being canceled. The government is also urging Australians overseas to return home before other nations enact travel bans.Morrison said public transport will remain open, but he emphasized the importance of social distancing to halt the spread of the virus. Public Anzac Day commemorations on April 25, which recognize war veterans in Australia and New Zealand, will be halted both home and abroad.The measures are another escalation of the response by the government, which has announced a A$17.6 billion ($10.6 billion) stimulus package to buttress the economy and ordered anyone arriving in the country to self-isolate for 14 days.Nations around the world are trying to shield citizens from the deadly virus, imposing curfews, lockdowns, travel bans and shutting shops, bars, schools, and restaurants.Australian stocks have joined other global indexes in collapsing into a bear market amid growing concern about the economic impact of the spreading virus. The nation’s benchmark index has fallen 26% from its Feb. 20 record high as of the close of trading Tuesday, and the Australian dollar has slipped below 60 U.S. cents.The government also unveiled a A$715 million relief package for Qantas Airways Ltd., Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. and other regional airlines, including refunds and waivers of fuel excise, air services charges and regional security fares.Virgin Australia announced on Wednesday it will suspend all international flights until June 14 and will slash domestic capacity by 50%. That followed the move by Qantas to cut international flights by 90% and domestic trips by 60%Morrison said his government is working on further economic support designed to cushion the impact on small businesses and welfare recipients. He urged Australians to stop hoarding supplies amid scenes of chaos in supermarkets as people strip shelves of food.“Stop hoarding,” Morrison said. “I can’t be more blunt about it. Stop it. It is not sensible, it is not helpful and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behavior in response to this crisis. That is not who we are as a people.”(Updates with details of measures in 6th paragraph and throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Qantas is making new cuts to its flying schedule following travel restrictions announced by Australia and New Zealand due to the coronavirus.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- With their bookings collapsing, airlines are frantically trying to preserve cash by cancelling flights, deferring aircraft deliveries, sending employees home and drawing down credit lines with banks. Brussels plans to help by suspending European Union rules that require companies to keep flying to retain their takeoff slots. The Donald Trump administration has promised unspecified assistance.But for some weaker carriers these efforts may be in vain. Deutsche Lufthansa AG boss Carsten Spohr predicts “numerous insolvencies” in the industry. Qantas Airways Ltd.’s chief executive officer, Alan Joyce, says similar. Judged by the recent strains and failures in the travel sector, the timing and extent of those bankruptcies could be determined by a pocket-sized piece of plastic: your credit card.Co-branded credit cards linked to frequent flier programs are a lucrative source of revenue for airlines, particularly in the U.S. But problems can arise in relation to so-called “credit acquirers.” These entities are separate from the banks, which issue the credit cards to consumers. Rather, the credit acquirers act as intermediaries to authorize and process card payments. Importantly, they also issue refunds to customers if a company goes bust before they travel.When British regional airline Flybe collapsed earlier this month, it was reported that these credit-card processors were withholding about 50 million pounds ($64 million) of its customers’ cash as a reserve — for possible use as refunds. Card acquirers were also sitting on about 50 million pounds of Thomas Cook Group Plc’s customer receivables last year when the tour operator went bust, despite a last-ditch plea for the funds to be released.In both cases that cash was being held as cover for trips that customers had paid for but not yet taken. Credit card companies tend to increase how much of this money they hold onto if a particular airline gets into financial difficulty. They don’t want to end up carrying the can on reimbursing disappointed travelers. Unfortunately, as with suppliers that tighten their credit terms for financially distressed companies, a credit card processor that holds back more money risks pushing a cash-strapped airline over the edge. “Payments is only one part of an airline’s operations but it has the ability to bring down the whole business. It’s almost always the final nail in the coffin that stops you trading” says George Willis, head of business development at payments consultancy CMSPI. As well as airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and concert promoters also all depend on taking credit card payments from customers well in advance of delivering the service in order to fund their businesses.With the virus starting to decimate forward booking for overseas travel, it’s probable that the credit acquirers will be examining their exposure to the sector even more carefully now, just as they did a decade ago after the financial crisis. In 2008 Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. blamed its bankruptcy on a credit card processor’s decision to hold more cash in reserve.The card acquirer sector is very profitable and is consolidating rapidly. Worldpay Inc. was acquired by Fidelity National Information Services Inc. in a $34 billion deal, Fiserv Inc. bought rival First Data Corp. for $22 billion and Global Payments Inc. bought Total System Services Inc. for $21.5 billion. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclaycard are also big players. In contrast, the heavily indebted and unprofitable Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, has for months been trying to secure more capacity from credit card acquirers because the current ones have been withholding more of its money. Norwegian’s receivables balance — the cash due from customers — ballooned by $460 million last year, which it attributed in part to money being held back by credit card acquirers. The airline, whose shares have collapsed, held only about $320 million of cash at the end of December. You can understand why the credit card companies do this because being caught out can prove costly. Thomas Cook’s card companies probably had to foot a bill of several hundred million pounds in customer refunds. When Monarch Airlines went bust in 2017, an Icelandic card acquirer suffered a large volume of reimbursements and was later recapitalized. “A card acquirer doesn’t ask for a bigger security deposit just for the fun of it — whatever they ask for will be less than their ultimate liability,” says Carl Churchill, managing director of Netpay Solutions Group Ltd., a fintech. “It’s not in their interest to topple an airline or tour operator but their job isn’t to provide security or capital.”Unsurprisingly, some airlines have been pushing other payment methods as a way to keep control of more of their own cash – Norwegian plans to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. For now, the travel industry remains hugely reliant on the credit card acquirers. That dependency is about to be tested.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
To the annoyance of some shareholders, Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) shares are down a considerable 36% in the last month...
As we head into the busiest week of February's reporting season, here are 4 more ASX shares set to release hotly anticipated results.The post 4 more ASX shares to watch in week 3 of reporting season appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.
Here’s why I will be watching Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) and these ASX 200 shares next week…The post What to watch on the ASX 200 next week appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.
Australia's top airline Qantas will halt all international flights due to the viral pandemic. They're on hold from late March until at least the end of May. The airline also said on Thursday (March 19) it would tell the majority of its 30,000 employees to take leave. This comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned Australians to stop travelling overseas. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON SAYING: "We are upgrading the travel ban on Australians to level 4 for the entire world. That is the first time that has ever happened in Australia's history. The travel advice to every Australian is "Do not travel abroad". Qantas says it will temporarily lay off about two thirds of its workforce with domestic services also affected, slashed by 60 percent. To preserve as many jobs as possible over the longer term, it is telling staff to use their paid leave. It's also offering options like leave at half pay and advance leave, though it said leave without pay was inevitable for some. Qantas joins other airlines around the world that are reeling from the virus as several countries have closed off their borders to try to halt the epidemic. The airline will delay the payment of its stock dividend, worth more than $100 million dollars - from April until September. And senior executives will go without pay until at least the end of the financial year. But it's better placed than others and said it could withstand six to 11 months of no flying before further cuts. Whereas a trade group representing major US airlines - including American and Delta- say government help to the tune of $50 billion dollars is needed to avoid collapse.