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ASX 200 morning report – RHC, ALL & WEB shares in focus

The local market couldn’t overcome growing concerns about stagflation, an instance when the economy slows as inflation increases, with the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) falling 1.7% on Thursday.

The losses were broad-based, with every sector but healthcare falling, led by the consumer sectors. Healthcare gained 0.1% with the discretionary and staples companies down 3.1% and 3.7% after Target (NYSE: TGT) delivered an underwhelming quarterly update.

Energy and materials also fell more than 1% with less than 10% of the market finishing higher.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) fell by 7.8%, 5.6% and 6.6%, however, such broad-based losses likely ignore the very unique conditions in different parts of the world.

Economic news remained strong with a 40-year record low in unemployment of 3.9% despite only 4,000 more jobs being created in April.

On the positive side, the long-awaited $60 billion merger of BHP Group Ltd’s (ASX: BHP) oil business with Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) received 97% of votes in favour and is set to proceed in becoming a top 10 global oil producer.

KKR confirms Ramsay bid

Healthcare companies attracted the majority of capital flows, with both CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) finishing higher on a rough day for global sharemarkets.

Ramsay was buoyed by confirmation that private equity giant KKR would be proceeding with their $88 per share, $20 billion bid for the company. Ramsay shares still trade at a 10% discount to the offer price.

Aristocrat delivers record profit

Gaming machine designer and distributor Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) gained 6.7% after reporting a 46% jump in half-year profit, reaching a record of $530 million as gamblers flocked online amid the pandemic.

Revenue was 23% higher with the group clearly not suffering from supply chain or labour issues. The result was a $500 million on-market share buyback.

Webjet returns to profit

“Travel is back, baby” said the CEO of Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) after the company reported a return to profit in the second half of FY22.

Costs are falling and revenue is returning amid surging travel and airfare prices. Revenue more than tripled in the 12 month period whilst the loss narrowed from $100 million to just $15 million.

ASX 200 today

Looking ahead, the ASX 200 is expected to open broadly flat when the market opens this morning, following a slightly negative lead from US stock markets overnight.

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.

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

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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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