- BHP Group’s shares dropped over 9% on the plan to exit the petroleum business.
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s shares rose after it launched a new buy-now-pay-later product, StepPay.
- Domino’s Pizza shares jumped 7% to hit a fresh 52-week high on solid earnings.
- Biotechnology firm CSL dropped 2% despite declaring a record dividend.
- Aerial imagery technology firm Nearmap gained nearly 5% after releasing earnings report.
The Australian share market witnessed choppy trade on Wednesday as weak cues from Wall Street and continued rise in COVID-19 cases dented market sentiment. The sell-off in blue-chip miner BHP and oil and gas major Woodside Petroleum dragged the market, while gains in utilities, consumer staples and financial stocks capped losses.
Here are the top 10 stocks that created a buzz on the ASX today.
BHP Group to merge petroleum business with Woodside
Shares of index heavyweight BHP Group (ASX: BHP) declined as much as 9.4% to hit an intraday low of AU$68.69 on the plan to exit the petroleum business. The company has decided to merge its petroleum business with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) to create a bigger entity. BHP shareholders will own a 48% stake in the new company.
The company has also decided to end the dual listing of its shares on London's FTSE100 index, which means it will be listed on the ASX only.
Meanwhile, the iron ore giant reported an underlying profit of US$17.08 billion for the full year ended 30 June 2021. It has also rewarded shareholders with record dividends of US$15.2 billion for the year. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of US$2 per share on September 21.
ANZ Bank’s home loan book drops in Q3 FY21
Shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) climbed nearly 0.9% to AU$28.67 after the lender issued Pillar 3 capital update.
The bank revealed that its home loan book declined by AU$300 million to AU$280.3 billion during the June quarter from AU$280.6 billion at the half year to March 31. The shrink in the home loan book was attributed to customers who are using low rates to pay debt faster, citing an AU$16.2-billion increase in lending offset by an AU$16.5-billion increase in paydowns.
It also reported a common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio, used to measure the financial strength of a bank, of 12.2%. The bank said that the recently announced AU$1.5-billion on-market share buyback was expected to further reduce CET1 ratio by around 35 basis points or (0.01%).
Woodside Petroleum profit rebounds in FY21, declares dividend
Oil and gas major Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) shares dropped as much as 4.4% to AU$19.85 despite reporting strong earnings and interim dividend.
The energy major has declared an interim dividend of 30 cents per share for the first half of the year, compared to 26 cents a year ago.
The company also reported a rebound in profit, rising to AU$317 million, from a loss of AU$4.1 billion in the same period last year. Revenue rose by 31% to AU$$2.5 billion, while production dropped to 46.3 million barrels, from 50.1 million barrels of oil equivalent.
CBA launches BNPL product StepPay
Shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) rose 1.6% to touch an intraday high of AU$100.57 after the lender launches its new buy-now-pay-later product, StepPay. The move is being seen as a step to compete against local BNPL players such as Afterpay and Zip.
The bank said that its customers who had pre-registered for its BNPL product would be able to load the new card to their digital wallets from Wednesday.
The bank will allow StepPay to be used for purchases under AU$100 in one go, while purchases above AU$100 will be split into four equal instalments without any cost to the customer.
Domino’s Pizza sales rise, EBIT up 27%
Shares of Domino’s Pizza (ASX: DMP) jumped 6.9% to hit a fresh 52-week high of AU$135.73 on robust earnings. The company has also announced a final dividend of 85.1 cents per share, 70% franked, with an ex-dividend date of August 25.
The underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 27% to AU$293 million in the financial year 2021, with two-thirds coming from its Europe and Japan operations. Food sales surged 14.6% to AU$3.74 billion, driven by an increase in stores that included 126 new outlets in Japan alone.
Silver Lake Resources FY21 profit falls 62%
Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR) shares gained as much as 3% to AU$1.36 after the gold miner unveiled its earnings report.
The profit after tax dropped 62% to AU$98.2 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2021. The revenue climbed 5% to AU$598.3 million, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) rose 12% to AU$290.8 million.
Gold production stood at 249,177 ounces gold equivalent, with gold sales of 248,781 ounces and copper sales of 1,724 tonnes. The company said it had met full-year guidance for both sales and all-in sustaining cost (AISC) despite the challenging conditions prevalent in Western Australia throughout the year.
Going ahead, the company has set sales guidance between 235,000 and 255,000 gold ounces at an AISC of AU$1,550 to AU$1,650 ounces for FY22.
CSL declares record dividend
Australian biotechnology firm CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL) dropped 2.1% to AU$291.63, paring opening gains, despite declaring a record dividend.
The health care major announced a final dividend of AU$1.61 per share (or US$1.18 a share) for the financial year 2021, its biggest dividend on record.
Besides, the company reported a 13% rise in revenue to US$10.3 billion, while net profit also grew by 13% to US$2.375 billion. Going forward, the company expects a weaker performance in the 2022 financial year due to margin easing as a result of increased plasma costs.
Nearmap beats ACV guidance, revenue rises 17%
Shares of Nearmap (ASX: NEA) gained 4.8% to AU$2.16 after aerial imagery technology released earnings report.
The company has beaten its annual contract value (ACV) guidance for FY21, driven by a solid performance in North America. The company ended the financial year with a group ACV portfolio of AU$133.8 million, registering a year-on-year growth of 26%. The revenue rose 17% to AU$113.4 million, while its loss after tax reduced to AU$18.8 million. The company, however, did not declare a dividend for the period.
Deterra Royalties reports earnings post demerger of business
The share price of Deterra Royalties (ASX: DRR) surged 3.7% to AU$4.47 following earnings report.
The resource-focused royalties business has reported a revenue of AU$145.2 million for the 2021 financial year, while net profit after tax stood at AU$94.3 million. This is the first earnings report post demerger of the business.
The company has also declared a final fully franked dividend of 11.52 cents per share.
Tabcorp Group revenue up 8.8%
Shares of Tabcorp Holdings (ASX:TAH) fell nearly 0.9% to AU$4.81 after releasing earnings report for the financial year ended 30 June 30 2021, which was heavily impacted by COVID-19.
The Group revenue rose 8.8%, while EBITDA was up 11.3% versus the last corresponding period.