From Westpac to Fortescue: Five ASX stocks that grabbed the headlines

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From Westpac to Fortescue: Five ASX stocks that grabbed the headlines

Vulcan Energy, Fortescue Metal, Westpac, Apollo Tourism and Leisure, and Grange Resources created a buzz on the ASX today
Image source: Immersion Imagery, Shutterstock.com

Highlights

  • Vulcan Energy shares surged more than 5% following an acquisition news.
  • Fortescue Metal fell over 2% after it announced the departure of its CEO.
  • Westpac shares dipped 1% after it extended the date for share buyback.
  • Apollo Tourism and Leisure jumped 30% on a merger plan.
  • Grange Resources jumped 24% after it announced a special dividend.

Australian shares witnessed bearish trade on Friday with the ASX 200 index dropping as much as 0.5% by the mid-session. The market witnessed broad-based selling, with 10 of the 11 sectors bleeding in red, led by tech and health care stocks. Top losers on the ASX pack were Afterpay (ASX: APT), Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE), and AMP (ASX:AMP).

Individual shares that grabbed the headlines today include Vulcan Energy, Fortescue Metal, Westpac, Apollo Tourism and Leisure, and Grange Resources. Here’s how these ASX-listed stocks performed on the last day of the week.

Vulcan Energy Resources

Shares of Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL) rose 5.5% to touch the day’s high of AU$11.68. The share price of the lithium developer surged after it acquired a geothermal renewable energy plant. It has gained over 14% this week, and more than 300% since the beginning of this year (year-to-date).

The company informed its shareholder this morning that it had purchased a 100% stake in an operational geothermal energy power plant in the Upper Rhine Valley at Insheim, Germany, for AU$49.8 million.

Following this deal, the company establishes itself as an operational renewable energy business.

The transaction will be funded from a recent capital raise of AU$200 million to purchase the plant.

The development came a day after it signed a lithium offtake agreement with auto major Volkswagen Group.

Fortescue Metal

Shares of Fortescue Metal Group (ASX: FMG) dropped 2.3% to AU$17.83 during the day’s trade so far. The shares dropped after it announced that its chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines would step down and move to a non-executive director’s role. Gaines will now become Fortescue’s global green hydrogen ambassador.

The company said that its board had begun the search to identify a new CEO, adding that Gaines would assist in the selection process to lead the development of Fortescue group.

Westpac Banking Corporation

Shares of Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) fell as much as 1% to AU$20.8 after the lender extended the timetable for its share buyback until February next year.

The bank had shifted buyback timing citing that the fall in its share price may allow it to buy more stock than expected. The bank’s share price has dropped around 18% since early November.

Last month, Westpac said it would launch a AU$3.5-billion off-market share buyback.

Apollo Tourism and Leisure

Apollo Tourism and Leisure (ASX: ATL) shares saw a surge in buying after it proposed a merger with the New Zealand Stock Exchange-listed Tourism Holdings. The stock price gained as much as 29.7% to hit an intraday high of AU$0.72.

The Apollo board has unanimously recommended the deal to its shareholders, which will see Apollo shareholders getting one Tourism Holdings share for every 3.68 Apollo shares they owned.

Following the completion of the deal, Apollo shareholders will own a 25% stake in the combined entity.

Grange Resources

Shares of Grange Resources (ASX: GRR) rallied as much as 24.5% to hit an intraday high of AU$0.76 after it announced a special dividend.

The Tasmania-based iron ore pellets miner said in an exchange filing on Friday that it had declared a 10 cents special dividend for the shareholders. With this, total dividends in calendar 2021 increased to 14 cents per share.

The ex-dividend date for the special dividend is 15 December, while it will be paid on 29 December 2021.

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