The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is expected to trade higher today with the Sydney Futures Exchange pointing to a positive open. Right now, the ASX 200 is priced 0.21% from its 52-week high of 7070.2.
Video: How the ASX 200 is calculated
If you need to scrub up on your knowledge of the markets, watch the free video above. For more free videos, subscribe to Rask Australia’s YouTube channel by clicking here – did I mention it’s free?
Important News Today
1. Amcor Ltd
Amcor is a global packaging company. It develops and produces flexible packaging, rigid containers, specialty cartons, closures and services for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical device, home and personal care and other products.
Amcor delivered its half-year financial results to investors today, showing a 2.4% decline in net sales to hit $US6.43 billion (currency-adjusted).
The packaging company’s operating profit or EBIT came in at $US678 million for the period to 31 December 2019, up 4.4% over the prior corresponding period. A quarterly dividend of 11.5 cents per share was declared.
“Amcor delivered a good first half result and our outlook for fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS growth has improved to 7-10%,” CEO Ron Delia noted.
“The integration of the Bemis business is on track and the combined flexible packaging business has achieved mid single digit organic growth in addition to the delivery of synergy benefits.”
2. Blackmores Limited
Blackmores describes itself as Australia’s leading natural health company. Maurice Blackmore founded the company in the 1930s. Blackmores has a number of different brands, not just the well-recognised Blackmores brand. It operates BioCeuticals, the Blackmores Institute, Fusion Health & Oriental Botanicals, Impromy, IsoWhey and Pure Animal Wellbeing (PAW).
Today, Blackmores’ ASX shares are expected to come out of their trading halt following a trading update lodged with the stock market. In a statement, Blackmores downgraded its full-year profit expectations following challenges with the Coronavirus combined with pressure from a transition to manufacturing.
In all, Blackmores expects at least two-to-three months of supply and sales challenges on account of the Coronavirus.
“We understand and acknowledge that shareholders will be bitterly disappointed with the financial performance of the business,” Chairman Brent Wallace said.
“I assure shareholders that the matters we have shared today are being fully and comprehensively addressed by the Board and new Executive Team.” Read more: “Blackmores falls 17%”
3. Evolution Mining Ltd
Evolution Mining was formed in November 2011 and is one of Australia’s largest gold miners. It owns five mines, being Cowal in New South Wales, Cracow, Mt Carlton and Mt Rawdon in Queensland, and Mungari in Western Australia. Evolution also has a stake in the Ernest Henry copper-gold mine that will deliver 100% of future gold and 30% of future copper and silver produced from an agreed life of the mine area.
The $6 billion gold mining company today reported a net profit of $147 million — up 62% — for its most recent half-year reporting period. Evolution said the result was driven by production of 362,857 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,041 per ounce.
“These record half year financial results demonstrate the quality of Evolution’s asset portfolio,” Executive Chairman Jake Klein said.
“The EBITDA margins and free cash flow generation of our business are sector leading. Our fully franked interim dividend of 7.0 cents per share ensures our shareholders continue to share in the benefits of the high cash generation from our diversified portfolio.”
Yesterday, Evolution’s competitor in Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) delivered its half-year report, showing a sharp increase in sales and profit. You can read more about that here: “Northern Star’s Shining Report”