The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open higher today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went up 0.01% on Monday.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 70.64US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.18%

Oil (WTI): $US52.39 per barrel

Gold: $US1,308 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) has reported its half year result to the market. Challenger had already warned that this result would show a decline of profit.

Challenger reported that its statutory revenue fell by 20.8% and its statutory profit declined by 96.9% to $6.1 million. However, normalised profit after tax decreased by 3.9% to $199.8 million. Challenger maintained the dividend at 17.5 cents per share.

Challenger CEO Richard Howes said: “Our results for the first half have clearly been impacted by the difficult operating environment we’re experiencing, with increased market volatility, industry disruption and political uncertainty playing out across the sector.”  

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Accounting software business Reckon Limited (ASX: RKN) has revealed its report for the full year to 31 December 2018.

Revenue for its continuing business fell 6% to $75.4 million, continuing EBITDA declined by 2% (click here to learn what EBITDA is), continuing net profit grew by 2% to $8.8 million. Reckon decided not to declare a final dividend for the 2018 year, although it had declared an interim dividend of 3 cents per share.

Reckon CEO Sam Allert said: “As we have said previously, we remain positive that future growth will be achieved in all division. The products & initiatives are largely market ready, and so now it simply comes down to sales and market execution.”

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Toll road operator Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) has reported its half year result to 31 December 2018.

Transurban reported that proportional EBITDA increased by 9.8% to $1 billion and the business reaffirmed distribution guidance of 59 cents per share, which represents growth of 5.4% over FY18.

Transurban CEO Scott Charlton said: “Transurban employees are working to deliver our nine committed projects safely and successfully over the next five years.”

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Disclaimer: Any information contained in this article is limited to general financial/investment advice only. The information has not taken into account your specific needs, goals or objectives, so please consider consulting a licenced and trusted adviser before acting on the information. Please read The Rask Group’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. This article is authorised by Owen Raszkiewicz of The Rask Group, which is a corporate authorised representative No. 1264179 of Strawman Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 908 211) (AFSL: 501 223).