- Market activity was on the thinner side on Friday though investing sentiment has been improving of late, owing to COVID-19 vaccine developments and staged reopening of economies. However, sporadic fears of second waves trigger stock exchanges.
- After closing the week 2.4% lower on 10 July 2020, ASX 200 opened the week higher on 13 July 2020 and was up by over 1% in early trade with the baton in hands of the financial sector.
- The current week is likely to be action-packed and information enriched with US earnings season updates, latest consumer sentiment and business confidence reports, and labour survey data possibly en-route.
Last week, S&P/ASX 200 Index put up a relatively gloomy show with the benchmark index trading lower on four out of the five trading sessions. The index slumped 0.6% on 10 July 2020 to settle at 5.919.2, closing the week 2.4% lower, owing to factors like heightened US-China tensions, worsening coronavirus situation, globally, and fears of a possible re-imposition of lockdowns in few Australian cities.
However, as they say- there are two sides to each coin, which means that not all shares failed to impress the market even when the ASX 200 index was quite out of form last week. Let us cast an eye on few of the top ASX-listed stocks from the last week-
St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM)- 2020 marks a new era, says MD & CEO
Gold explorer and producer, SBM released its production update for the June 2020 quarter (Q4 FY20) and FY20 on 7 July 2020 with the following highlights-
- Q4 FY20 gold production stood at 108,612 ounces, up from 91,547 ounces in Q3
- FY20 gold production was noted at 381,887 ounces, in line with production guidance of 370,000 to 400,000 ounces
- Q4 FY20 generated net cash of $86 million, closing the quarter with total cash at bank and term deposits of $406 million
The quarter marked the first time that SBM produced over 100k ounces in a quarter since Q4 June FY18 and the first time that Gwalia achieved its highest mill throughput since 2014 with 244 kt of ore milled (avg. grade 6.8 g/t Au).
MD and CEO Craig Jetson opined that the Q4 performance is a reflection of extraordinary efforts of SBM people and business partners amid COVID-19 as well as indicates the potential of the Company. St Barbara is working hard to deliver on its current assets, as the Company assesses its business and operating model to ensure an exciting future- “2020 marks a new era in the evolution of St Barbara”, Mr Jetson stated.
On 13 July 2020 (AEST 12:15 PM), the stock was trading downward by 1.653% to $3.570.
Gold Road Resources Limited (ASX:GOR)- New Director, Drilling Begins on Lake Grace & Yandina JV
Regarding itself to be Australia’s newest gold producer, GOR is presently on the threshold of embarking on its next exciting phase of growth, according to Chairman Tim Netscher. The Company’s Board of Directors conducted a rigorous assessment of board skills matrix and identified areas that can be strengthened to successfully enable delivery of the Company’s strategy. Resonating to the same, GOR onboarded Ms Maree Arnason as an Independent Non-executive Director.
Besides this new addition at a crucial time, Cygnus Gold Limited (ASX:CY5) has begun drilling on the Lake Grace and Yandina Joint Venture Projects, where GOR is funding for exploration programs. This JV-funded drilling program is likely to conclude in July.
On 13 July 2020 (AEST 12:23 PM), the stock was trading downward by 1.6% to $1.845.
Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU)- Acquisition of Exore, Sustainability Report Revealed
Rapidly growing, West African gold producer, PRU started life as an exploration company in 2004 and currently operates two gold mines in the region, with first gold from its third mine, Yaouré, likely in December 2020. The Company asserts that gold production may rise to over 500k ounces per annum in 2021/2022.
Of late, the Company has been making headlines for having entered a Scheme Implementation Deed with Exore Resources Limited (ASX:ERX), proposing to acquire 100% of the issued share capital of ERX by way of scheme of arrangement in an all-share transaction.
The acquisition would enable the Company to gain ownership of ~2k square kms of geologically prospective land in northern Côte d’Ivoire (currently held by ERX), close to its operating Sissingué Gold Mine.
Besides this, PRU released its 2019 Sustainability Report with the following highlights-
- 29 training hours per employee
- Female representation increased to 13%
- Reduced turnover rate from 8% to 6%
- Increased Local Community Employment (from 47% in 2017 to 58% in 2019)
- Contributed over USD 299 million to the African and Australian economies
- Improved performance in HSE Audits
- Reused over 11 million KL of water
- Reduced total GHG emissions
On 13 July 2020 (AEST 12:35 PM), the stock was trading downward by 3.413% to $1.415.
Netwealth Group Limited (ASX:NWL)- June Quarterly Business Update
A technology company, a superannuation fund and an administration business, NWL was created with an entrepreneurial fortitude to challenge conventions of Australia’s financial services. The Company released its June 2020 quarterly business update on 9 July 2020 with the following highlights-
- FUA at 30 June 2020 stood at $ 31.5 billion, up 35% for FY20 post negative market movement of $0.9 billion for the year
- Reported record FUA net inflows of $ 9.1 billion for FY20
- For the quarter, FUA increase of $ 3.6 billion, net inflows of $1.5 billion and positive market movement of $2.1 billion
- FUM at 30 June 2020 of $7.3 billion. FUM net inflows for June quarter were $0.5 billion.
- Managed account balance of $5.8 billion on 30 June 2020. There was a managed account balance of $3 billion/ 110% for FY20
The Company expects performance for FY20 to marginally exceed its previous guidance where revenue bracket was $116 million to $120 million and underlying EBITDA bracket was $58 million to $62 million.
On 13 July 2020 (AEST 12:40 PM), the stock was trading upward by 3.458% to $11.070.
Afterpay Limited (ASX:APT)- Trading Update, Capital Raising
One of the pioneers of the buy now pay later (BNPL) sector, APT’s strong performance across the business delivered underlying sales of $11.1 billion in FY20, more than doubling the pcp, up 112%. Underlying sales in Q420 was $3.8 billion, 127% above Q419, owing to accelerating shift to e-commerce amid COVID-19. APT’s sales performance during the quarter also marked the highest quarterly performance ever.
- For FY20, merchant revenue margins are expected to be in line with or better than H1 FY20 and FY19.
- Net Transaction Loss is expected to be up to 55 basis point while Net Transaction Margin is expected to be ~2% for FY20
- EBITDA is expected to be between $20-25m for FY20
- Expansion into Canada and rollout of in-store in the US expected in Q1 FY21
On 13 July 2020 (AEST 12:53 PM), the stock was trading upward by 1.466% to $71.250.
FY21 is likely to be a year of increased investment for the Company, as it maintains strong momentum in the business and capitalises the opportunity to scale globally. The Company has successfully raised $ 650 million through a fully underwritten institutional placement. A SPP to raise ~ $ 150 million is likely to follow. Funds raised will be used to hasten investment in growing underlying sales and prioritising global expansion in the short term to maximise shareholder value in the longer term.
The market seems already pumped to a fresh week that holds an array of information in store for investors, for instance the US earnings season updates, Westpac’s July consumer sentiment, NAB’s business confidence and ABS’ labour force survey, both for June. At the time of writing on 13 July 2020 01:02 PM, S&P/ASX 200 was trading up by 0.59%.
(Note: All Currency in AUD unless specified otherwise)
With the pandemic continuing to affect the globe, healthcare companies are evaluating their lead compounds for COVID-19 treatment. Future revenue for these stocks depends on the probability of launching an approved treatment in the market.