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S&P/ASX 200 morning report – 8 ASX shares that reported on Wednesday

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is set to take a backwards step at the open on Thursday according to ASX futures. It was a busy day yesterday as a number of companies released their annual results. Here’s what you missed.

ASX 200 recap

The ASX 200 finished at a six month high, adding 0.7%, as the reporting season went up another gear. The ASX 200 was supported early after Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) offered a peace offering in the form of a 25 cent per share dividend, and CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) blew away the bears with an earnings beat; more on these below.

Elsewhere, both PM Scott Morrison and CSL exuded confidence that a vaccine would be available by mid-2021, ensuring a risk-on sentiment.

Wednesday’s key ASX reports

WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) – The standout, finished 33.9% higher after reporting a 23% increase in revenue and 17% growth in earnings before tax.

Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) – Released results after the market closed, revealing a 168% profit fall to a loss of $42.3 million as travel slowed and suffered $110 million in additional costs.

Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) – Fell 5.2% after announcing a 47% reduction in rent revenue and indicating just 47% of June quarter rent payments had been received.

Reject Shop Ltd (ASX: TRS) – Reported a 3.4% improvement in sales as consumers flocked to its low-cost staple products, but a lack of online solution sent the share price down 14.0%.

Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX: TAH) – 4.8% fall in revenue to $5.2 billion, down 14.4% in the second half, $1.1 billion write-down of acquired businesses sent the company to an $870 million loss. Dividend halved and $600 million capital raising announced at $3.25 per share.

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) – Reported an 80.2% fall in net profit to $79.5 million due to mass closures across the country; shares finished 3.3% higher. Revenue down 25.7% after improving in the first half, received $68 million in JobKeeper payments, but dividend cancelled.

And a little more detail on Australia’s biggest companies:

ANZ cuts dividend by 70%

ANZ delivered a strong result, cash profit hitting $1.33 billion in the third quarter, as its Institutional Markets division enjoyed a tailwind of activity. Management saw sufficient strength to declare a 25-cent dividend, a cut of 70% on 2019, but a surprise given Westpac’s (ASX: WBC) decision to cut its own dividend on Tuesday.

Summary: Welcome relief for investors evidencing the growing divergence between the Big Four.

CSL continues to impress

CSL solidified its position of one of Australia’s true global leaders, delivering profit growth of 17% in constant currency terms for the financial year. All businesses units except the restructure Albumin drug delivered double-digit revenue growth for the financial year; the most important Privigen and Hizentra lines up 20% and 34% each. The result was a 9% increase in revenue, 10% increase in reported profits to $2.1 billion and a similar increase in the full-year dividend.

Summary: No slowdown here.

Going global

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both pulled back from all-time highs, down 0.4% and 0.6% respectively, after the Federal Reserve highlighted the long road ahead for the economy.

President Trump announced that trade talks with China are back on after seemingly increasing his bargaining power in recent weeks via a number of aggressive moves against Huawei and Tik Tok.

The Euro Stoxx, on the other hand, rallied 0.9% after the UK Government flagged shorter quarantine measures in an attempt to deal with the second wave in a more practical way.

In other news, Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) announced the largest growth in sales in its 58-year history, 24% year on year, as consumers flocked to its website for electronics (70%) and kitchenware (30%), the share price finishing 12.7% higher.

Look out for Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) reports today.

This article was written by Drew Meredith, Financial Adviser and Director of Wattle Partners. To get in contact with Drew, click here to visit the Wattle Partners website.

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Are you stuck wondering where to invest right now? Have you got cash 'sitting on the sidelines'? Are you looking for dividend income AND growth but don't know where to start? Rask's expert ASX analyst team has just released a full report, detailing where we'd invest $10,000 right now.

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Disclosure: Drew Meredith is the author of this post. He may maintain positions in the securities mentioned.

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