Beacon Lighting at five-year low

The growth rate in overall home lending was just 4 per cent in the year to March down from 4.2 per cent recorded in the 12 months to February.

Annual lending to investors for home buying hit its lowest level since records were kept by the Reserve Bank of Australia, following another month of zero growth in March.

The level of owner occupier lending is also at its lowest annual level since 2015 after another month of 0.4 per cent growth.

Overall the growth in credit during the month across all sectors was in line with market expectations of 0.3 per cent.

Matthew Cranston reports

Shares were up as much as 90 per cent in PainChek this morning, which owns a smartphone app which monitors and assess pain, after it received $5 million in funding from the federal government for the app to be implement in aged care centres. Shares reached a high of 6.5 cents in early trading, but have since settled down to 6 cents.

«This investment is set to trigger widespread and long-term us of the PainChek app,» chief executive Philip Daffas said.

The app uses videos of patient’s faces to analyse micro-expressions of pain, and merges that analysis with behaviour and reports to quantify pain levels. Initially it will be used for dementia patients.

PainChek shares jumped 13 per cent on Friday from 3 cents to 3.5 cents before it went into a trading halt, from which it emerged this morning.

Shares in Beacon Lighting are down 9 per cent to a five-year low of $1.04 after it warned the market of «unpredictable» trading conditions. It says earnings have for the first nine months of the current financial year are down 11.6 per cent compared to 2017-18. It expects full year earnings to be lower than last year at between $28.5 million and $30.5 million compared to $33.2 million for 2017-18.

«The group has invested heavily in new stores in recent years and the effect of these investments in the current trading environment has meants that these stores are taking longer to reach maturity,» the company said this morning.

It points to a decline in housing churn, weak consumer confidence, the upcoming federal election and tighter credit as reasons for the challenging conditions.

Origin Energy’s Australia Pacific LNG gas business has leapt more than 50 per cent year on year as it rides the oil price boom. Origin’s joint venture Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) delivered its highest ever quarterly revenue of $764 million, up 53 per cent compared to the same time last year. This was despite actual gas sales from APLNG only rising by 1 per cent.

Origin shares are down 0.9 per cent to $7.38 currently, recovering from a low of $7.32 earlier today.

«Australia Pacific LNG continues to deliver strong earnings with record revenue during the quarter,» Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said.

«This result was driven by continued reliable operational performance and higher realised commodity prices.»

Read the full story by Cole Latimer here

The stock market has dropped further in the past 20 minutes and is currently down 37.7 points to 6321, a decline of 0.6 per cent. It appears to be driven by major mining companies with the materials sector now down 1.1 per cent.

BHP has dropped from $37.50 to $37.30 since 10.45am, and Rio Tinto dropped from $96.60 to $96.08 in the same time period.

Nine Entertainment is up 2 per cent to $1.77 after announcing it has sold the Australian Community Media business to former chief executive of Domain, Anthony Catalano, and former Fairfax shareholder, Alex Waislitz of Thorney Investments. Nine publishes this blog.

The sale was for $115 million in cash, with $10 million of this sum to be paid in 12 months time. An additional $10 million in advertising for Nine across the news titles is included in the deal, over three years.

Some of the titles included in the deal are The Canberra Times, The Newcastle Herald, The Examiner, The Border Mail, The Courier and the Illawarra Mercury, and agricultural titles The Land, Queensland Country Life and Stock & Land. Last week, Mr Catalano said The Canberra Times should be producing its own political coverage and the titles needed someone who would «get in there and invest».

Read the full story from media reporter Jennifer Duke here.

Nine is next expected to move quickly on plans to acquire the remaining shares it doesn’t own in radio network Macquarie Media, home to Alan Jones and Ray Hadley on 2GB and Melbourne’s 3AW. Macquarie Media shares are very tightly held with Nine owning 54.44 per cent (thanks to its purchase of Fairfax Media) and John Singleton owning 32.33 per cent. Shares last traded at $1.75 and reached a high point of $2.18 in August 2018. At this price it would cost $136.5 million for Nine to purchase the 45.6 per cent of the company it does not own.

Shares in Seven Group Holdings are up nearly 3 per cent to $19.75 after it upgraded its full year guidance yesterday afternoon.

«The underlying strength of SGH’s three strategic growth drivers (mining production, infrastructure investment and domestic energy), has resulted in improved revenue and profit for the Group,» it told the market after trading finished on Monday.

It now expects underlying earnings before interest and tax to be up 40 per cent higher than last year, compared to previous guidance of a 25 per cent increase. Earnings in 2017-18 were $496.9 million.

A potential decline in the WesTrac business in the second half of 2018-19 has not eventuated, however Coates Hire has been affected by floods and wet weather in Queensland delaying projects.

The new guidance suggests pre-tax earnings will be about $700 million.

JB Hi-Fi has reaffirmed its guidance for profit to grow by between 1.6 per cent and 5.1 per cent this year, even as sales slow significantly at its flagship brand. The consumer electronics retailer said on Tuesday that comparable sales at its Australian JB Hi-Fi stores grew at 1.5 per cent in the third quarter, compared to 4.3 per cent growth in the same quarter last year.

That brought sales growth for the year to date to 2.7 per cent — compared to 6.7 per cent in the period a year earlier. Sales had rebounded at its Good Guys chain however, to 1.3 per cent for the year to date, from 0.3 per cent last year. JB reaffirmed guidance given in February for its net profit to between $237 million and $245 million.

The company’s shares were down 1 per cent in early trading to $25.58.

Virgin Australia has deferred delivery of the first jets in an order of 48 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, amid ongoing uncertainty around the scandal-plagued plane and as the airline tries to improve its own financial performance. The airline was due to receive its first 737 MAX 8 aircraft in November to start renewing its domestic fleet, but on Tuesday said Boeing had agreed to push delivery back to July 2021.

Boeing’s new series of aircraft have been grounded globally since March following two fatal crashes involving MAX 8 planes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, in the past six months that killed 346 people. Virgin said it was also converting the first 15 jets in its order from 737 MAX 8 aircraft to the larger MAX 10s model, which is not yet in service. That means it won’t receive any MAX 8s until 2025.

Virgin shares are down 1.3 per cent to 18.25 cents compared to a broader market decline of 0.3 per cent this morning.

Read the full story from Patrick Hatch here

Novatti says it processed $2 million in payments in the three months to the end of March, it tells the market this morning in an optimistic quarterly update.

It executed agreements with 14 partners including ePay for Wechat Pay, SendFX, OpenDNA.

«Novatti aims to maintain its recent cadence of signing 8-12 agreements per quarter that support the ongoing growth in the transaction volume and related fees,» it says.

«Novatti expects continued engagement with APRA during the current quarter and as APRA reviews Novatti’s bank licence application. In parallel, Novatti’s banking services team is continuing to prepare for launch assuming a successful application.»

Novatti shares are trading at 22 cents.




You may also like...