The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open higher today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went up 0.26% on Wednesday.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 70.88US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.46%

Oil (WTI): $US53.98 per barrel

Gold: $US1,306 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, diversified financial business AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) has reported its half year result to 31 December 2018. The under-pressure business reported a statutory net profit of $28 million, a 97% reduction compared to a year ago. This was mostly due to advice remediation and subdued performance in wealth protection.

Underlying profit was $680 million, which represents a fall in profit of 35%. AMP CEO Francesco De Farrari said: “2018 has been a challenging year for AMP. Our core businesses have delivered resilient results, with continued growth in AMP Capital and AMP Bank offsetting the headwinds faced in Australian wealth management. The Royal Commission has been a confronting but valuable experience for the financial services industry”. 

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Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shares could face scrutiny this morning after the telco cut its dividend from 11 cents to 8 cents in its half year report. The telco reported a 28% drop of net profit to $1.23 billion, leading to the dividend needing to be cut by 27.3% to 8 cents per share. Its total income fell by 4.1% to $13.8 billion but the operating expenses increased by 3%.

Telstra said in its report: “Telstra delivered 1H19 results in line with guidance, showing solid performance in customer numbers and share in the face of intense competition as well as strong delivery against the T22 strategy.”

We forecast this might happen: Will Telstra Cut Its 5% Fully Franked Dividend?

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Finally, Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) also reported its half year result. The wine business said it grew net sales revenue by 16% to $1.5 billion and grew net profit after tax by 17% to $219.2 million. The company also declared a dividend of 18 cents per share, which was 20% higher.

Treasury Wine CEO Michael Clarke said: “I am very proud to see the foundation established in the previous years continuing to deliver sustainable growth, as shown by yet another strong set of financial results.”

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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).