There were multiple forces at play on Thursday as the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) gained 0.5% after an unexpected increase in US oil stockpiles sent the price tumbling.
On the positive side was a continued rally in the financials and tech sectors, both gaining over 1% after NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) announced a stronger than expected quarter.
Domino’s share price crunched
The company reported same-store sales growth of just 4.3% since the beginning of the financial year, with network sales only 8% higher than 2020 despite a massive expansion in the store network.
Japan sales actually turned negative following the end of lockdowns, in a sign that the worst may still be to come. Analysts were most concerned about the sign of higher food costs potentially impacting on already tight profit margins.
The Domino’s result was delivered alongside the worst fall in Australian retail sales on record, with quarterly spending down 4.4%, driven by an 11% fall in NSW.
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Homebuilder boosts CSR
Building products supplier CSR Limited (ASX: CSR) gained closer to 5% after reporting a 30% increase in profit for the six months to September, which reached $86.6 million.
The result was delivered on the back of a 6% increase in revenue which management confirmed was boosted by the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder program.
Management also highlighted growing delays and tightening labour supply as being a risk to growth in the coming months. Regardless, the dividend was increased 6% to 13.5 cents per share.
Ingham’s flags price increases
Chicken producer Ingham’s Group Ltd (ASX: ING) shared a similar view, falling 5.0% after flagging the potential for poultry price increases due to an increase in input costs.
Management flagged droughts in the Northern Hemisphere, spiking global demand and higher transport costs as the reasons behind the weakness.
The news came as Australia’s trade surplus began to contract, easing to $12.2 billion due primarily to the falling iron ore price.
NIB profit expands
Healthcare insurer NIB gained nearly 5% after reporting an 8.5% increase in revenue, generated primarily through higher premiums. The number of new policyholders was marginal, but lower claims have benefitted the bottom line.
ASX 200 today
Looking ahead, the ASX 200 is expected to open higher on Friday, following a mostly positive lead from US markets overnight.