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ASX 200 morning report – WES, B4P & PPS shares in focus

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) managed to start the week on a relatively strong footing, with corporates awakening from their slumber to deliver some first-half updates.

The ASX energy and retailing sectors were the highlights on Monday, gaining 1.4% and 2.2%, respectively.

Wesfarmers’ trading update

The biggest influence on the market was Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), which gained 2.6% despite delivering a ‘difficult’ trading update.

Management reiterated its expectations for a net profit of around $1.18 billion to $1.24 billion for the first half of 2021. However, it noted serious challenges in its Kmart and Target businesses, which were closed for 25% of the half-year period.

The result was a 10% fall in sales growth for the half and only 1% growth in the Catch of the Day online business.

The nature of Wesfarmers’ conglomerate, however, meant that surging demand for home improvement and building products at Bunnings and strong mining activity in Western Australia made up for the weakness in traditional retail.

Beforepay share price tanks on debut

The IPO of Beforepay (ASX: B4P) could well have been better timed, with the first trading day seeing shares tank by over 40% as investors flocked to the exits.

It comes after an incredibly challenging period for the traditional BNPL players listed on the ASX, with Beforepay’s concept of lending against future salary seemingly not attracting the ‘growth investor’ interest.

Beforepay shares finished at $1.905 after raising $34 million at $3.41 per share.

Good news for AdBri

After a challenging few years with long-term supply agreements, Adbri Ltd (ASX: ABC) subsidiary Cockburn Cement announced it had agreed on an extension to their its of lime for a further year, with the deal set to end at the end of this month. The deal is expected to deliver at least $25 million in sales to Alcoa.

Praemium delivers another record

Shares in wrap platform Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS) gained 4.2% as the company reported quarterly inflows of $1.25 billion. This took the annual result to $4.9 billion, a near 90% improvement on 2020 levels.

This saw the company announce record funds under administration of $49 billion and follows the sale of its international business to Morningstar and an offer from competitor Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX: NWL).

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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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