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ASX 200 set to rise – KGN, SEK & HUB shares in focus

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) finished 0.2% higher on Tuesday, continuing the positive start to the week with energy and materials leading the way, up 2.8% and materials 0.8%.

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) has started to recover, improving 1% as the iron ore price settles.

It was a positive day for the travel sector as the vaccination rate speeds up. Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) launched its tearjerker advertising campaign, with shares finishing 5.5% higher with Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) also adding 6.6%.

Kogan can’t live up to the hype

All eyes were on e-commerce retailer Kogan.com Ltd (ASX: KGN) which appears to have fumbled the opportunity offered by the pandemic. The Kogan share price tanked by another 15.8% on its FY21 results, down 60% from the high, after the company reported an 87% fall in profit to just $3.5 million and suspended its final dividend.

The weaker profit was caused by ‘supply chain interruptions’ with previously announced overstocking needing to be written down, whilst incentive payments to the founders also came at a cost.

Earnings were over 50% lower despite a 52% increase in sales to $1.18 billion with investors most concerned about the anaemic growth in 2021. June quarter sales excluding the acquisition of Might Ape actually fell 14%.

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SEEK returns to profit

Seek Limited (ASX: SEK) also weakened slightly despite returning to profit in 2021, reporting $752 million, as revenue grew by 1% to $1.59 billion.

The company is benefitting from a lack of jobs and plenty of workers, with its core business growing 17% and supporting a 20 cent per share dividend.

Lockdowns hit Boral

Now majority-owned by Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SWV), Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) released its FY21 results, flagging a $50 million hit from rolling lockdowns on the eastern seaboard, with growing concern about the lack of consistency.

The Boral share price fell 5.6% after the company opted to keep the dividend on hold with revenue down another 6.7% to $5.3 billion. Profit continues to improve, hitting $639 million, a $1.7 billion turnaround from 2020.

Boral remains likely to offer capital returns in the coming months and highlighted that its earnings are centred more around construction, not residential activity, which will have a positive tailwind post the pandemic.

Hub 24 dividend hike

Platform operator Hub24 Ltd (ASX: HUB) reported a record level of organic growth, with profit growing 50% to $15 million on the back of record inflows of $8.9 billion.

Total funds under management hit $58.6 billion for the platform consistently voted as Australia’s best by advisers.

Investors cheered the 50% increase in the dividend, sending shares 7.7 % higher.

Ansell’s renaissance

Glovemaker Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) has capitalised on the pandemic, returning a record final dividend to shareholders on the back of a 25% increase in sales to US$2.02 billion.

Profit improved by 57% as the combination of higher production, supported by its essential worker status, and increasing prices became a near-perfect storm. The Ansell share price finished 9.9% lower despite the US 43.6 cent dividend.

ASX 200 today

It’s set to be a bumper day of ASX reporting season with the likes of Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT), Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and WiseTech Group Ltd (ASX: WTC) all expected to report.

The ASX 200 is tipped to push higher when the market opes today, following a positive lead from US markets overnight.

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Disclosure: At the time of publishing, Drew owns shares in Zip Co.