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ASX 200 set to rise – SUN, TCL & AZJ shares in focus

It was a flat day for the market despite a strong positive start, with the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) giving up its initial 0.5% gain slowly throughout the afternoon.

The majority of sectors were lower, or more broadly flat, with the financials sector the only real positive contributor jumping 1.3% after Suncorp Group’s (ASX: SUN) stellar result.

The materials and energy sectors continue to feel the brunt of the sell-off with precious metals falling after strong employment figures in the US, Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) was down 3.7%.

Suncorp smashes expectations

All eyes were on banking and insurance group Suncorp, which jumped 7.8% after reporting a 13% increase in net profit to $1.03 billion despite just a 4% increase in revenue.

Cash earnings before write-downs and bad debts surged 42% with the banking division delivering an outsized gain of 69% due to the continuing boom in residential property markets.

The result was a dividend that smashed expectations, 40 cents per share, up from just 10 cents in 2020, along with an 8 cent special dividend.

The result lifted the rest of the banking sector with Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) adding 1% after announcing the sale of its Australian life insurance business to TAL for $900 million. The deal comes with a 20-year contract to continue distributing the products to clients.

West Gate holding back Transurban

Transurban Group’s (ASX: TCL) recovery from the pandemic has taken a hit from its troubled West Gate Tunnel project, with the group reporting a 9% fall in cash from continuing operations to $2.89 billion.

This resulted in a loss of $287 million, which was reversed by the recent sale of its US assets to a number of pension funds for $3.73 billion, reiterating the importance of looking beyond the headline figures.

Sydney and Brisbane traffic had returned towards normal levels, but both the US and Melbourne assets remained heavily impacted as lockdowns extended.

The bad news, however, was a $3.3 billion blowout on a $6.7 billion initial budget with the Victorian Government threatening legal action if a commercial agreement for completion isn’t put in place; shares fell 2% on the news.

Aurizon pushes higher

Coal-focused rail group Aurizon Holdings Ltd (ASX: AZJ) also released FY21 results, reporting a 1% increase in profit to $533 million despite a 1.5% fall in revenue.

The group increased its dividend to 14.4 cents per share, slightly ahead of 2020 levels. Aurizon shares added 1.7% on the result.

Magellan AUM jumps, Long WALE REIT shows strength

Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) continues to dominate its traditional rivals with assets under management jumping $4 billion in July, some 20% of Platinum’s (ASX: PTM) total assets under management.

Elsewhere, Charter Hall’s Long WALE REIT (ASX: CLW) saw earnings increase 30% on 2020 levels following acquisitions that saw its net tangible assets grow 17% to $5.22 per share. CLW shares finished 2.8% higher.

ASX 200 today

According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is tipped to open higher on Tuesday despite a mixed lead from US markets overnight.

According to Rask Media’s ASX reporting season calendar, the likes of Challenger (ASX: CGF), Megaport (ASX: MP1) and Adbri (ASX: ABC) are set to report today.

The Golden Rules of Investing

We might be experts in retirement, but with combined financial advice experience of 35+ years, we’ve nearly seen it all. 

In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

In this free report, we outline the key principles that determine all of the portfolio construction and investment decisions of Wattle Partners. Collated over decades, this paper should be seen as a work-in-progress, constantly under review in light of the ever-evolving nature of markets. 

You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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