From Beach Energy to Whitehaven Coal: Five stocks that dominated ASX today

Highlights

  • Beach Energy shares gained 9% on raising production target.
  • Origin Energy ticked up over 5% on additional investment in UK-based Octopus Energy.
  • Whitehaven Coal shares hit record high amid a spurt in coal prices.
  • NRW Holdings climbed nearly 2% following a business update.
  • Domino’s Pizza Enterprises fell nearly 3% on management restructure.

The Australian share market saw a sharp sell-off on Tuesday, with the ASX 200 nosediving 1.3% as weak retail sales data spooked investor sentiment. Australia's retail sales fell for a third straight month by 1.7% to AU$29.3 billion in August, amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Among individual stocks, tech firm Megaport (ASX:MP1) and mining business Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) declined the most, while Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and coal miner Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) topped the gainers’ chart.

Some of the individual stocks that dominated the ASX today include Beach Energy, Whitehaven Coal, Origin Energy, NRW Holdings, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, and others. Here’s why these stocks grabbed investor’s attention today:

Beach Energy raises oil production target

Shares of Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) gained as much as 8.9% to hit an intraday high of AU$1.345 after the oil producer unveiled plans to raise production target.

The energy major aims to produce up to 28 million barrels of oil equivalent by financial year 2024, at a compound annual growth rate of 13%. The company plans to cut its carbon emissions by a quarter from a fiscal year 2018 baseline by 2025, while it has an “aspiration” to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Whitehaven Coal shares hit record high on rise in coal price

Shares of Australia’s largest independent coal miner Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) hit record high on Tuesday amid a  spurt in coal prices. The stock price climbed 7% to hit a fresh 52-week high of AU$3.28.

The price of coal rose to US$180 per tonne on Tuesday amid strong demand driven by the economic recovery. The rise in demand from China and Europe pushed prices of energy commodities.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises restructure management team

Shares of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises dropped 2.8% to AU$154.37 after Australia’s largest pizza chain announced management restructure.

The company informed its shareholders this morning that it would align its leadership with a twin-region structure to grab new opportunities in Europe and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Taking a step in this regard, the company has appointed senior executives to boost business in the APAC region.

Group CEO & Managing Director Don Meij said, “DPE’s Europe and APAC regions each have a population base of about 180 million people with significant opportunity for both organic growth and acquisitions. With this twin-region focus, we intend to maximise these opportunities”.

“As we accelerate to 2030 and beyond, we will grow much larger businesses in both regions; each planned to be bigger than the entire DPE of today,” added Meij.

Origin Energy to invest AU$70M in Octopus Energy

Shares of Aussie energy major Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) jumped 5.1% to hit a high of AU$4.74 during the day’s trade so far. The stock price of the energy major surged after the company said that the value of UK-based Octopus Energy tripled to AU$5.5 billion after a new investor acquired stake in the company. Origin owns a 20% stake in Octopus Energy.

The company said that it will invest a further AU$70 million to maintain its shareholding in the company after fund manager Generation Investment Management purchased 7% shares in Octopus for 211 million pounds which pushed the company’s market value.

In May last year, Origin had entered into a strategic partnership with Octopus by acquiring a 20% equity interest for 215 million pounds.

“The rapid expansion of Octopus underpinned by its market leading technology has driven a tripling in the company’s value to approximately £3 billion since we made our initial investment,” says Frank Calabria, CEO, Origin.

“Origin’s additional investment demonstrates our confidence in Octopus’ strategy, management team and growth prospects, confirmed by GIM, which is one of the world’s most innovative sustainable investment funds. Our exposure to Octopus’ continued success is expected to be an important avenue of growth for Origin,” Calabria added.

NRW Holdings shares rise on business update

Shares of NRW Holdings (ASX: NWH) gained as much as 1.8% to AU$1.67 after the mining and construction services provider issued a business update.

The company informed its shareholders this morning that its subsidiary, Primero Group, has bagged an Engineering, Design and Construction (EPC) contract for the Finniss Lithium Process Plant situated in Australia's Northern Territory. The Perth-based company has secured this contract from lithium developer Core Lithium (ASX: CXO).

The project has received all necessary approvals and is fully funded with site works planned to commence in March 2022. The commissioning of the facility is expected by October 2022, says the company.

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