From Rio Tinto to Qantas: Five stocks that made a splash on ASX today

Highlights

  • Shares of Rio Tinto fell over 1% after it lowered iron ore shipments target.
  • BHP shares rose over 2% after it received shareholders’ support for climate change plan.
  • Qantas Airways climbed over 4% on plan to sell land in south Sydney’s Mascot.
  • Shares of Macquarie Group hit a record high on price target hike.
  • Pendal Group shares plunged 12% following the firm’s Q3 business update.

Australian shares opened higher today and continued to trade higher amid broad-based buying. The benchmark ASX 200 index gained as much as 0.8% during the day’s trade so far, led by gains in tech and mining stocks. The top five gainers were automobiles and components manufacturer ARB Corporation (ASX:ARB), investment platform HUB24 (ASX: HUB), software firm Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC), miner OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL), and gambling company Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR).

Individual stocks that dominated the ASX today were – Pendal Group, Macquarie Group, Qantas Airways, Rio Tinto and BHP.

Here’s why these stocks were on investors’ radar today:

Rio Tinto lowers iron ore shipments target

Shares of Australia’s largest iron ore miner Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) declined as much as 1.4% to AU$99.14, paring early gains. The stock slipped into red after it cut its full-year target for shipments of the steel-making raw material from Western Australia.

The company said in an exchange filing that it now expects Pilbara shipments of iron ore to be in the range of 320-325 million tonnes in the 12 months to December 31, lower than the previous target of up to 340 million tonnes.

The drop in shipment target was attributed to the delay in completion of the new greenfield mine at Gudai-Darri and the Robe Valley brownfield mine replacement project due to the tight labour market in Western Australia.

Meanwhile, Pilbara shipments rose 9% to 83.4 million tonnes during the September quarter, compared the prior quarter and 2% higher than the third quarter of 2020. Iron ore production at Pilbara stood at 83.3 million tonnes, down 4% from the same period last year.

BHP gets shareholders support for climate change plan

Shares of BHP Group (ASX: BHP) soared as much as 2.6% to AU$38.80 after its shareholders endorsed the company’s climate transition strategy.

Details from BHP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London revealed that 83% shareholders supported the climate change plan. Australian shareholders are slated to vote on the same on November 11.

The company plans to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the end of 2030 and touch net-zero emissions by 2050.

Qantas Airways to sell land in Mascot

Shares of Qantas Airways (ASX: QAN) have climbed 4.3% to AU$5.82 during the day’s trade so far. The stock price surged after the carrier announced a plan to sell surplus land in south Sydney’s Mascot for AU$802 million.

Australia’s largest airline by fleet size has inked a pact with a consortium led by LOGOS Property Group for the sale of 13.8 hectares of land in Mascot. The fund proceeds will be used to reduce debts and accelerate the airline’s recovery.

“We’ll use these funds to help pay down debt that we’ve built up during the pandemic. The strength of this sale and its impact on our balance sheet means we can get back to investing in core parts of our business sooner,” says Group CEO, Alan Joyce.

“The extended lockdowns and border closures of the past few months have been extremely tough, but this transaction adds to the growing momentum around our recovery” Joyce added.

The company aims to reach net debt target range by the end of FY22. The transaction remains subject to some conditions, while settlement of the vast majority of the lots is expected in the first half of this financial year.

Morgan Stanley raises price target of Macquarie

Shares of investment banking giant Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) gained over 3% to hit a 52-week high after a brokerage hiked its price target. The share price of the company rose as much as 3.4% to AU$189.22 at the time of reporting. On the volume front, as many as 303.5K shares worth AU$56 million changed hands over the counter, while market capitalisation surged to AU$67.46 billion.

Global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley has raised its price target of Macquarie Group by 37% to AU$240, saying that the lender deserved a “green premium”. The company’s shares have gained 5.25% in last one month and 18.7% over a six-month period.

Pendal Group’s Q3 FUM jumps 30%

Shares of global investment business Pendal Group (ASX: PDL) declined as much as 11.9% to touch an intraday low of AU$6.81, in an otherwise positive broader market. The shares fell despite the company reporting a spurt in funds under management (FUM) during the September quarter.

Pendal’s FUM jumped 30.5% to AU$139.2 billion, from AU$106.7 billion in the June quarter. The Aussie business saw a record quarter of flows through the higher margin wholesale channel (AU$0.4 billion), with strong net inflows in Australian large cap, sustainable multi-asset and fixed income funds. The company said that the acquisition of Thompson, Siegal & Walmsley helped it raise FUM.

Pendal Group CEO, Nick Good, said, “The acquisition of Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley LLC (TSW), delivered a step-change in FUM from $106.7 billion to $139.2 billion. For shareholders this is proving to be a value accretive acquisition.”

“There was significant volatility in client sentiment leading to re-balancing of portfolios and profit-taking, giving rise to outflows in a range of channels and strategies,” Good added.

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