Amid the conclusion of what was a better-than-feared reporting season, Australian shares closed out the week lower, trailing international markets. Indexes in the US, Germany, France, New Zealand, Korea and Hong Kong all posted strong gains this week, advancing in the vicinity of 2% or more, while the ASX 200 fell 0.6% to finish the week on 6,073.8 points.
Which shares excelled?
Pointsbet Holdings (ASX: PBH) made a late surge to headline the best-performing stocks this week, with the company skyrocketing 105.9%. Shares in the betting company soared on news that it has struck a “transformational” deal with US media giant NBCUniversal, allowing it to become the official sports betting partner of the broadcaster. As part of the deal, NBC will take a 4.9% stake in the company. Pointsbet also unveiled its FY20 earnings, showing triple-digit growth in turnover, net wins and net revenue across the financial year.
The buy-now pay-later segment was central to much of the trading action this week. Not only did big names like Afterpay (ASX: APT) and Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) report their earnings, but they detailed expansion plans too, with the former set to accelerate its efforts in Europe through an acquisition. Meanwhile, Sezzle (ASX: SZL) was caught up in the frenzy as well. The trio all delivered strong gains for shareholders throughout the week, even though Afterpay and Zip closed lower on Friday.
With its net sales increasing 5% in FY20, Reliance Worldwide (ASX: RWC) jumped 32.8% this week. Momentum in the company’s Americas division offset weakness in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In fact, net sales for the Americas segment grew 13% year-on-year. Although the company’s net profit after tax was 33% lower, the resilience of Reliance’s US operations continued into July, where sales advanced 22%.
Shares in Nearmap (ASX: NEA) were on a tear this week as the aerial imagery business gained 14.5%. The rally was partly driven by positive sentiment flowing through for tech stocks on the back of a strong performance from the NASDAQ. In addition, the company was also the subject of several broker price upgrades, which were in light of the firm’s FY20 earnings last week.
Breaking the tech trend, De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG) had a bumper week in light of high grade gold intercepts at its Crow prospect. The drilling results were enough to send the miner’s shares 30% higher.
Elsewhere, waste management companies Cleanaway (ASX: CWY) and Bingo Industries (ASX: BIN) were both in favour as each company exceeded the market’s expectations when they reported their FY20 results. They were joined by a host of other companies that beat consensus targets, including Reece (ASX: REH), Costa Group Holdings (ASX: CGC) and Worley (ASX: WOR).
Which shares dragged on the market?
With its profits nearly wiped out in FY20, Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) crashed 29.7%. One of the nation’s largest coal miners, Whitehaven was at the mercy of a falling coal price throughout the financial year. The company recorded profit of $30 million, down from $564.9 million a year prior. Shares ended the week at a multi-year low.
Blackmores (ASX: BKL) also came under heavy selling pressure as it presented a disappointing set of results to shareholders. Net profit after tax crashed 66% compared with the prior corresponding period, with sales across ANZ and China impacted by the COVID pandemic. With the company opting against paying a dividend, attention has turned to cost-cutting, with jobs set to be slashed. Shares in Blackmores ended the week sharply lower, down 14.4%.
Appen (ASX: APX) released its interim results on Thursday, however, the figures fell short of the market’s expectations. Although the company announced a 25% increase in half-year revenue and a 6% rise in underlying EBITDA, the results were insufficient to hold up the share price, which dived 13.5%.
Gold stocks were also somewhat vulnerable as the price of gold in Australian dollars eased. Gold miners weighed down by the forex movements included OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC), Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR), Regis Resources (ASX: RRL), Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR) and Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN).
Finally, some of the other names that experienced share price weakness over recent trading days were Nanosonics (ASX: NAN), Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN), Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL), Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE), Cochlear (ASX: COH) and South32 (ASX: S32).
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great weekend!
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