Investors retreated to the sidelines to round out the week. News of the record economic contraction in the US, while flagged by US Federal Banks and fund managers weeks ago, reverberated across the market. The data outweighed not only the significant earnings beats posted by FAANG stocks this morning, but also Chinese manufacturing data for July that topped forecasts.
A stronger Australian dollar and the prospect of tightened lockdown restrictions in Victoria also cast further doubt over the ASX. Many of this week’s major movers were defined by trading updates and earnings results, however, the ASX 200 finished the week 1.6% lower, closing on 5,927.8 points.
Which shares excelled?
Credit Corp (ASX: CCP) led the winners list, announcing net profit after tax (NPAT) of $15.5 million for FY20. While impairments and COVID-related losses meant the result was 78% down on last year, the company’s underlying result, was actually 13% higher than FY19. Supporting the company’s share price was commentary from management that collections in recent months have returned to pre-COVID levels, while some of the company’s clients are looking to increase debt sales. Credit Corp anticipate $60-75 million NPAT in FY21. Shares in CCP leapt 11.3%.
At its annual general meeting, AP Eagers (ASX: APE) updated shareholders on the company’s performance throughout FY20. Although the car dealership business has faced significant pressure, AP Eagers has implemented a cost rationalisation strategy that it expects will help it save $78 million per year. Management also announced that they expect underlying profit from continuing operations of $40.3 million, a result that some shareholders may believe could have been a lot worse. By the end of the trading week, the valuation of AP Eagers had risen 12.2%.
Super Retail (ASX: SUL) also joined the list of stocks that were on a tear this week, with the retailer’s shares jumping 10.7%. Better-than-expected sales volume in the second half of FY20 was the cause of the move, with total sales expected to be 4.2% above last year’s tally, with like-for-like sales growing 3.6%. The months of May and June proved particularly resilient for the company, which owns the likes of Rebel Sports and Supercheap Auto, as like-for-like sales surged more than 25% in each month.
Elsewhere, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) delivered a bumper result for its shareholders. The iron ore miner handed down its quarterly production report on Thursday, which showed that the company not only beat its own full-year guidance, but it also set a quarterly record for shipments. FMG also reported net debt of just $300 million and between 175 and 180 million tonnes of iron ore shipments for FY21.
Finally, updates from ALQ (ASX: ALQ) and Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) were enough to send their respective shares higher across the week, while the buoyant price of gold helped spark a rally in the likes of stocks such as Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX: KLA), AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG), Zimplats Holdings (ASX: ZIM) and Emerald Resources (ASX: EMR).
Auto retail group AP Eagers outperformed this week following its update
Which shares dragged on the market?
Diversified mining and exploration company IGO (ASX: IGO) shed 15.1% this week despite the company reporting a large increase in revenue and earnings. Analysts had pencilled in higher results for the company, so in some quarters, the result fell short of expectations. A soft outlook for FY21 also weighed on the company’s momentum, with production of nickel concentrate and copper set to be lower than this year’s volumes.
Mixed results from IOOF Holdings (ASX: IFL) threw a spanner in the works amid its recent rally, causing the stock to plummet 16%. While funds under administration and management (FUMA) grew 3.4% in the fourth quarter of FY20, the move was largely attributable to an increase in equity prices over the quarter. Instead, three of the company’s four divisions recorded a net outflow of funds from the business.
A shift in momentum caused Sezzle (ASX: SZL) shareholders some grief, as the company’s share price declined each day this week. The US BNPL fintech released its second-quarter update on Monday, seemingly leading some holders to sell into the news.
Shares in AMP (ASX: AMP) dived sharply today as the company pointed towards a 50% drop in underlying profit for 1H20. With net cash outflows estimated at $4.4 billion, the diversified financial services business has felt the heat amid the COVID pandemic. Meanwhile, a capital raise announced by Perpetual (ASX: PPT), to acquire US funds management business Barrow Hanley, weighed on its share price.
Already feeling the effects of no international travel and a constrained domestic aviation market, shares in Qantas (ASX: QAN) sunk 11.3% this week as further travel restrictions were announced. The decision by the Queensland government to tighten entry for Sydney residents into the state was another blow for the airline that is hoping for a vaccine breakthrough.
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great weekend!
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