December 31, 2020 11:22 AM AEDT
2020 a shocker of a year for dividend investors
- The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) introduced dividend restrictions on the banking sector amid the pandemic.
- A significant proportion of Australian companies either slashed or deferred dividend payments.
- The Australian economy getting back on track is a positive sign for the dividend landscape.
The restrictions imposed to stall coronavirus’ massive transmission across the globe opened a can of worms for the business landscape. The restrictions triggered a dramatic decline in operations amid the pandemic. The repercussions were innumerable, stretching from the drop in revenues to an increased threat of survival while many companies slashed dividend to reserve liquidity.
Although the action helped the companies save significant amount of capital, it was a bolt out of the blue for the dividend investors. Notably, Australian companies have been a hot ticket for years, owing to the significant proportion of dividend they offer to the investors. The sudden cutback in income source, especially when health scenario was a wreck, eroded the ‘dividend-philic’ sentiments of many.
To make the matter worse, the financial downturns exacerbated by job losses dealt another crushing blow to the stockholders. Nevertheless, the Australian economy is starting to look up and the improvement in job scenario and consumer sentiments has been a positive sign, not only for business settings but also for that chunk of additional income that dividend investors look for.
In this backdrop, let us look at 2020’s dividend landscape of Australia.
Capping of Bank’s Dividend
The dividend income from Australian banks has been a pivotal element of many investors’ conservative strategy, who seek to manage their living costs through additional revenue stream without disturbing the underlying capital. However, the pandemic scenario and the associated uncertainties have affected the regulatory settings for the distribution of dividends.
APRA’s diktat to banks on prudent capital management capped dividend payments initially, wherein the dividend outflows were either deferred or offset to a considerable extent in order to maintain buffer. The focus was primarily on supporting the economy in times of crisis.
Nevertheless, with the improving scenario, the APRA guidance was updated in July-end, thereby easing restrictions on dividend payment. Thus, the banking sector was then required to maintain at least half of their earnings before making dividend-related decisions.
However, the outlook showing a significant upturn, has been typically encouraging for dividend income as APRA has removed limits on bank’s dividends. The decision to remove restrictions came in December, with the changes in the regulatory setting effective from 1 January 2021.
Big Four Bank’s dividend. Source: ASX
Other Companies following Similar Cost-Saving Routes
While dividend limits predominantly capped dividend income from the banking sector, many other companies followed suit in order to maintain cash amid unprecedented times. Notably, dividend investing has gained massive popularity among Australian investors owing to its tax benefit. The dividends are not double taxed in Australia and the investors can enjoy tax benefit of the franked dividends.
However, the crisis ruptured the ideal dividend environment in Australia as around one-third of the Australian companies decided not to pay the dividend. It has affected the dividend yields of many, given their share price was able to bounce back from the bottom-mark.
A Dilemma about the Conservative Strategy
The pandemic managed to expose the risk associated with what was once regarded as one of the safest investment strategies. Over the years, investors’ hunt for high-dividend yield stocks has grown significantly, especially allowing self-funded retirees to receive a consistent flow of income. While the dividend investment strategy may consider the general underlying scenario, nevertheless, encapsulating risk-consideration of a catastrophe of this magnitude is highly unlikely. Since the pandemic is far from over, the prudent investment could involve a mix of diversification and value investment, with the focus on the current volatile scenario.
September 01, 2020 01:03 PM AEST
iSentric Registers $6.4Mn in FY20 Revenue, Expenses Down by 52%
iSentric Limited (ASX:ICU), an advanced fintech and digital commerce software and services provider, has unveiled its preliminary final report for the period ended 30 June 2020 and important subsequent events.
Following are some of FY20 highlights:
- Revenue from ordinary activities stood at AU$6,445,109.
- Expenses noted a significant decline of 52% to AU$4,149,226.
- Cash flow for FY20 was steady and the Company raised AU$409,477 in July 2020 post a series of capital raisings.
Additionally, the Company sharpened its focus on core fintech business divisions of Mobile Banking and Digital Payments across Malaysia and Indonesia. ICU also highlighted important changes in the board and senior executive teams, rebranding of its mobile banking and payment processing platform to the IOU Pay Platform, and the renaming to IOU Pay (Asia) Sdn Bhd from Isentric Wireless Sdn Bhd.
Notably, the Company’s Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders is scheduled for 30 September 2020.
On 1 September 2020, ICU was trading at AU$0.073 at AEST (12:45 PM).
August 31, 2020 05:37 PM AEST
Temple & Webster Reported Solid Results And Massive Growth In Active Customers During FY2020
Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW) has reported a 74% growth in its FY2020 revenue of A$176.3 million for the period ended 30 June 2020.
- EBITDA which was A$1.5 million in FY2019 increased to A$8.5 million.
- NPAT for the period was A$13.9 million.
- Active customers grew 77% to ~480k.
- Trade and Commercial division improved by 68% YoY.
- As of 27 August 2020, the company had A$81 million cash and has zero debt.
August 31, 2020 12:43 PM AEST
Splitit Payments’ Sales Volume Up 133%, Reports Revenue of US$3.1 million
ASX-listed global payment solutions provider, Splitit Payments Limited (ASX:SPT) reported its financial results for the half-year (ended 30 June 2020) and provided its operational performance update.
- During FY20, Splitit witnessed record growth with Merchant Sales Volume of nearly US$89.1 million, which increased by 133% in H1 FY20.
- Gross Revenue (Non-GAAP) reported at US$3.1 million, up by 244% YoY.
- The Company signed 116 new merchants post period, including Frederique Constant, Echelon Fitness, Specialized, The Hut Group, and 77 Diamonds.
- During the period, SPT signed key partnerships with Stripe, Visa and Mastercard in H1 FY20 to hasten innovation and merchant acceptance.
Splitit anticipates rapid growth to continue in H2 FY20 and beyond.
On 31 August 2020, SPL share price was reported at A$1.890 up by 3.279% at AEST 12:37 PM.
August 31, 2020 12:22 PM AEST
NAB Enters Into Agreement To Sell MLC Wealth To IOOF
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement to sell 100% of MLC Wealth to IOOF Holdings Ltd for A$1,440 million.
The agreement follows the strategic decision announced by the company in 2018 to pursue an exit of MLC Wealth and is in line with the company’s strategy to simplify and focus on its core banking business, while creating a stronger future for MLC.
At AEST 11:46 AM, NAB shares are trading at A$18.04, up 0.613% from the previous close.
August 31, 2020 12:22 PM AEST
Bubs Australia’s FY20 Results Out, Revenue Rose by 32%
Australian premium infant formula producer, Bubs Australia Limited (ASX:BUB) disclosed its annual report for FY20 (year ended 30 June 2020), highlights are-
- During the period, group gross revenue of BUB rose by 32% to A$62 million.
- Sales of Bubs® Infant Formula in FY20 increased 58% to A$30 million, representing ~55% group revenue.
- The Company has a robust balance sheet with approximately A$26 million in cash reserves.
- Bubs’ export markets outside China delivered 5-fold growth, indicating 10% group revenue.
The results during FY20 were driven by the robust performance of Bubs® Infant Formula in each retail regions and channels.
August 28, 2020 05:10 PM AEST
California Approves Largest Utility Program To Expand EV Infrastructure
California approves USD 437 million to build EV chargers, an effort to expand the EV charging infrastructure.
- The approved fund would go to Southern California Edison to assist them in funding the installation of ~ 40,000 chargers – says the California Public Utilities Commission.
- Moreover, the program would further assist the state with its goal to put 5 million zero-emission vehicles on road by 2030.
August 28, 2020 05:09 PM AEST
Bills Gates’ Venture Aims At Lowering Utilities Emission
TerraPower LLC- Bill Gates’ nuclear energy venture, hopes to build small advanced nuclear power stations which are able to store electricity in order to supplement grids supplied by intermittent renewable sources.
- The is part of the ongoing effort to help fight against the climate change with an aim to assist utilities to slash their emissions without undermining grid reliability.
- The venture by the billionaire philanthropist plans to commercialise stations called Natrium across the United States.
August 28, 2020 01:41 PM AEST
Troy releases Financial results for FY20, Focuses on Exploration at Karouni Gold Operations
Troy Resources Limited (ASX:TRY), an experienced gold player, released the Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending on 30 June 2020. Troy produced over 23,580 ounces of gold in FY20 with least gold production from the December quarter during which the mining operations were temporarily ceased following an accident at the mine site.
Despite the pandemic, Troy ensured that the critical supplies remain unaffected by reduced freight flights into Guyana and gold produced continued to be transported to the refinery in Canada.
Here are the major key highlights from the financial report-
- Revenue - A$56.3 million
- Gold Sold - 23,726 Ounces
- AISC per oz (AuEq) - A$2,582
- Exploration Expenditure – A$7 million
- Capital Expenditure - A$15 million
- Cash and Bank Deposits - A$5 million
- EBITDA - A$(4) million
On 28 August 2020, Troy Resources traded at A$0.115 a share at 01:26 PM AEST, with a market capitalisation of A$75.85 million.
August 28, 2020 12:41 PM AEST
Federal Bank Provides Monetary Policy Review
Federal Bank Chairman Jerome H. Powell announced a major policy shift on 27 August 2020 to average inflation targeting. The decision taken by Federal Bank about proper monetary policy shall continue to reflect a wide array of factors and shall not be influenced by any formula. The revisions to the statement combine to a strong updating of the monetary policy framework. The revision also reflects the way the policy has been conducted these days.
In conducting monetary policy, the focus was on promoting as strong a labour market as possible. Also, efforts would be made constantly to achieve a 2% inflation rate over time.
August 28, 2020 12:40 PM AEST
BPH Energy Announces Results of Non-Renounceable Rights Issue
In a latest update, diversified company BPH Energy Limited (ASX:BPH) has confirmed that its non-renounceable rights issue, announced on 23rd July 2020, has closed. The Company has also provided the results of the rights issue, which are as follows:
- Net funds received were about $3.74 million: BPH notified that applications were attained for ~266.8 million shares totaling ~$4 million, which comprised applications for ~137.7 million shortfall shares totaling ~$2 million.
The total applications comprised applications for ~17.5 million shares totaling ~$262.1k to be settled by amounts owing to the applicants by the Company, including applications for ~774k shortfall shares totaling ~$11.6k.
- Plan to raise up to ~$2.42 million: BPH informed that a maximum of ~161.3 million shares and ~80.6 million new options will be issued pursuant to the offer to raise up to ~$2.42 million. This will be based on the capital structure of the Company as at the date of the non-renounceable rights issue Prospectus.
- Date of Issue of Shares: The Company mentioned that the issue of shares will occur on 31st August 2020, with the quotation on the ASX on 1st September 2020, subject to confirmation with ASX.
The funds raised from the non-renounceable rights issue will be applied to BPH’s investments, including an exploration into oil and gas. The fund raising, along with BPH’s cash position, seem to be putting the company in a strong position to continue these objectives.
BPH traded at $0.031 mid-day on 28 August 2020.
August 28, 2020 12:39 PM AEST
Multiple Shallow Gold Targets Along-Strike from Renascor’s Soyuz Prospect, Confirms IP Survey
Australia-based company Renascor Resources Limited (ASX: RNU) has reported to have identified multiple untested, shallow gold targets along-strike from its Soyuz prospect at the Carnding Gold Project in South Australia’s Central Gawler Craton.
Significantly, an induced polarization (IP) survey, which identified the new targets has confirmed an anomalous zone within a coincident geochemical and magnetic anomaly ~500m along-strike of the previous high-grade drilling at the prospect.
Renascor considers Soyuz and other prospects in the project area, to offer multiple drill-ready targets for near-surface, high-grade, granite-associated gold deposits.
Renascor is currently seeking approvals to commence drilling at Soyuz. The planned programs are expected to include drill testing of the existing gold zone at Soyuz, the IP anomaly and additional targets. The targets may be identified from upcoming infill soil sampling and ground geophysical surveys in the project area.
RNU stock traded at $0.014 on 28 August 2020 (at 11:57 AM AEST)
August 28, 2020 12:38 PM AEST
Retail Food Group Experienced a Net Loss of A$3.990 Million In FY2020
Retail Food Group Limited (ASX:RFG) has released its FY2020 results for the year ended 30 June 2020. Below is snapshot of the result.
- Total revenues declined 24.4% to A$263.949 million.
- Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 19.3% to A$35.542 million.
- Reported EBITDA improved by 124.8% to A$32.263 million.
- Profit from the continuing operations before income tax increased by 113.9% to A$15.704 million.
- Net loss for the period was A$3.990 million.
At AEST 11:41 AM, RFG shares were trading at A$0.07, down 1.408% from the previous close.
August 28, 2020 12:37 PM AEST
Opthea Reported A Drop Of 11.6% In Revenue During FY2020
Opthea Limited (ASX:OPT) has released its FY2020 results and reported a fall in its revenue by 11.6% to A$808,405. Loss from the ordinary activities which was A$20,910,061 in FY2019 decreased to A$16,529,281 in FY20.
The major expenses during the period was related to R&D, especially costs related to the Phase 2b and Phase1b/2a clinical trials of OPT?302 for wet AMD and DME. Direct R&D expenses amounted to A$17,954,073.
Moreover, OPT received an R&D tax incentive payment of A$14,636,973 during FY2020.
At AEST 12:06 PM, OPT shares we trading at $2.510, up by 0.803%.
August 27, 2020 06:24 PM AEST
Market Close Commentary; 27 August 2020
The Australian share market today surged slightly by 0.16 and the benchmark index S&P/ASX200 settled at 6126.2 as compared to yesterday's closure at 6116.4 points.
In the US stock market on Wednesday, the Nasdaq Composite increased by 1.73 per cent as Facebook surged 8.2 per cent, Netflix 11.6 per cent and Tesla 6.4 per cent. The S&P 500 was up by 1.02 per cent. The Dow Industrials gained 0.3 per cent.
The commodity section today at AEST 2:58 PM - the Australian dollar was up by 0.10 per cent; it was trading at AUD 0.7238, gold down by 0.59 per cent and was trading at USD 1942.75. If we talk about crude oil, it was down by 0.05 per cent and was trading at USD 43.34 a barrel.
The stocks that exceeded others in today's trading session are:
- Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA) was the top gainer today. It traded at AUD 5.24 and was up by 7.82 per cent. Today BGA declared EPS (cents per share) up by a massive 371 per cent in FY20. Revenue and EBITDA increased by 5 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.
- Challenger Limited (ASX: CGF)remained the second top gainer. It traded at AUD 4.05 and was up by 5.19 per cent.
The stocks that suffered the most today are:
- Appen Limited(ASX:APX) traded at AUD 38.65 and was dipped by 11.15 per cent. APX remained the worst performer today despite its declaration of FY20 revenue up by 25 per cent and growth in statutory EBITDA by 44 per cent.
- Link Administration Holdings Limited (ASX:LNK) traded at AUD 3.98, down by 9.55 per cent.
Let's see the graph below for the five top and least performing stocks for today's market:
August 27, 2020 06:22 PM AEST
EV Industry to Dominate the Lithium Demand Front – Says Cochilco
The demand for lithium would be dominated by the EV industry over the next ten years – says Cochilco, the Chilean state mining agency.
- As per the agency, the EV industry would capture over three-quarters of the ultralight battery metal’s consumption by 2030.
- The agency further anticipates that the lithium demand, which took a considerable hit from COVID-19 outbreak, would grow to 1.4 million tonnes by 2030.
August 27, 2020 06:22 PM AEST
U.S. Government’s Oil & Gas Lease Sales Attract Weak Bidding
The United States government oil and gas lease sale in the last five months kicks off, attracting weak bidding from oil producers in New Mexico as compared to the pre-crisis times.
- The 2,800-acre sale of oil and gas prospects was the first by the Trump Administration since the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020.
- The auction would now witness another follow-up sale of 45,000 acres in New Mexico and Texas.
August 27, 2020 02:19 PM AEST
GTI Resources Concludes SPP & Auger Soil Sampling at Niagara (Kookynie) Gold Project
GTI Resources Limited (ASX:GTR) has concluded its Share Purchase Plan (SPP) announced on 13 July 2020 post closing of the SPP offer on 21 August 2020. The SPP raised $978,000 before costs.
Besides, the significantly expanded 1,000?hole soil sampling program through auger drilling has been completed at the Niagara gold project near Kookynie in WA. The iresults of nfill and extensional multielement geochemical program are due in 2 weeks.
The Company has also secured a drill rig to complete Aircore drilling (expected to commence in the third week of September) and follow up RC drilling (in the third week of October).
GTI shares traded at $ 0.029 mid-day on 27 August 2020.