With iron ore prices in freefall, and momentum swinging suddenly against stocks in the lithium and battery metals space, the ASX recorded one of its worst weekly results in some time. The ASX 200 shed 168 points, or 2.2%, landing on 7,460.90 points as taper talk also confronted markets.
Which shares excelled?
After a dire start to the week, where it hit a 52-week low, Redbubble (ASX: RBL) shares soared more than 30% as the stock charted a recovery in light of its FY21 results. Highlights included a 58% rise in marketplace revenue to $533 million, EBITDA rising more than ten-fold to $53 million, and a return to being in the black with NPAT coming in at $31 million. Looking forward, the company expects first-half marketplace revenue growth in the current financial year to contract, before picking up thereafter as investment in the company takes hold.
Earnings season also proved a boon for a number of other companies this week.
Data#3 (ASX: DTL) delivered a 20% rise in revenue and record earnings, with NPAT up 7.5% to $25.4 million as the migration to cloud infrastructure accelerates.
International business has proven a tailwind for Carsales (ASX: CAR), with its net profit increasing by 9% to $130.7 million as overseas markets see strong car buying activity. Improvements in leads and private ad volumes across the domestic market also bolstered the picture for the company.
Domino’s (ASX: DMP) had a record year of its own, with sales up nearly 15% across the company’s network as international markets see strong growth. It posted NPAT of $197.6 million, which was more than 30% higher than a year ago.
Elsewhere, Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE) was able to post a modest rise in profits, which comes despite its presence in the Chinese market all but vanishing. Growth in other markets across the Asia region cushioned the impact of the China fallout, while in the US, its 19 Crimes brand, endorsed by American rapper Snoop Dogg, contributed strongly to the company’s growth.
There were also strong gains for the likes of Telix Pharmaceutical (ASX: TLX), Pro Medicus (ASX: PME), MA Financial Group (ASX: MAF) and Pact Group Holdings (ASX: PGH), which each released results throughout the course of the week.
Western Areas (ASX: WSA) has been in favour over recent trading days as the company confirmed it is in preliminary discussions with fellow nickel player IGO regarding a potential change of control. On Friday, Andrew Forrest also popped up on the register as a substantial shareholder, driving more buying activity amid rumours of a potential bidding war.
Rounding things out, a few other names on the list of winners this week were PPK Group (ASX: PPK), Australian Strategic Materials (ASX: ASM), Kogan (ASX: KGN), and Chorus (ASX: CNU), while A2 Milk (ASX: A2M) had a positive week amid takeover speculation in the media.
Which shares dragged on the market?
A winning theme in recent weeks, the heat certainly came out of the lithium and battery metals sector this week amid widespread profit taking and some weaker sentiment across the market. There were major falls in the share prices of companies like Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL), Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL), Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC), Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS), and IGO (ASX: IGO).
There has been a sharp turn of events in the iron ore space as well, with the price of the commodity dropping like a stone in recent weeks. Prices are now sitting around US$130 per tonne, compared with more than US$170 per tonne last week, and some months back, as high as US$230 per tonne. Among those feeling the pinch this week were Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN), BHP (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Mount Gibson (ASX: MGX).
Sezzle (ASX: SZL) shares were under the pump this week as the company’s half-year results fell short of investors’ expectations. The company reported a net loss of US$19.1 million, which was more than five times the loss in the prior corresponding period. However, widening losses weren’t just the result of greater investment by the company, with provisions for uncollectible accounts blowing out to US$22.4 million versus just US$5.1 million previously. Weak sentiment also flowed through to the company’s peer in Zip Co (ASX: Z1P), which tumbled more than 11%.
Two of the most popular names in the energy sector also took a beating this week, with Beach Energy (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) slumping. Results from Beach fell short of expectations, with the company’s production outlook disappointing shareholders. Meanwhile, Woodside’s mega-acquisition of petroleum assets from BHP was not greeted with the sort of reception the company would have hoped, while sliding energy prices also impacted energy shares.
Last but not least, there were poor performances from the likes of Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR), Nickel Mines (ASX: NIC), Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN), and Coronado Global (ASX: CRN), while earnings reports weighed on other stocks including Sims (ASX: SGM), Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG), Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN) and OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL).
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great week!
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