S&P/ASX 200 To Open Higher, 3 ASX Shares To Watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open higher today, the USA’s S&P 500 Index (.INX) went up 1.09% on Friday. The US market was closed on Monday for President’s Day.

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.32US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 1.33%

Oil (WTI): $US56.06 per barrel

Gold: $US1,327 per ounce

ASX Sharemarket News

In ASX sharemarket news, a lot of investors will be keeping an eye on the Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) share price after the technology company reported its result yesterday after the market had closed.

Altium seemed to report quite impressive numbers. Revenue increased by 24% to US$78.5 million, the EBITDA increased by 49% to US$28.36 million (click here to learn what EBITDA means) and net profit after tax grew by 58% to US$23.44 million and earnings per share (EPS) increased by 57% to US18 cents. The dividend was increased by 23% to AU16 cents.

The Altium CEO, Aram Mirkazemi, said: “Altium is focused on achieving PCB market leadership by 2020 and market dominance by 2025.

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This morning supermarket business Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) reported its own half year financial result.

Coles is changing its reporting calendar to a ‘retail calendar’, which is from 25 June to 30 Dec. On that basis, sales revenue increased by 2.6% to $20.87 billion and EBIT before significant items declined by 5.8% (click here to learn what EBIT means). The main cause of the EBIT decline was a drop of Coles Express EBIT decline of 39.3% to $51 million.

Coles CEO Steven Cain said: “We have delivered strong cash generation and we have a robust balance sheet which will enable us to reposition the business in the years ahead.”

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Hearing device business Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) has also reported its result for the six months ending December 2018.

Reported sales increased by 11% to $711.9 million. Reported net profit after tax increased by 16% to $128.6 million. Cochlear decided to increase the interim dividend by 11% to $1.55 per share.

Cochlear CEO Dig Howitt said: “We expect to continue to deliver growth in revenue and earnings in the coming years, underpinned by the significant investments made in product development and market growth initiatives.”

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