Australia-based investment house, Washington H. Soul Pattinson & Company Limited (WHSP) (ASX: SOL) has reported a growth of 12.2% in its regular profit for 1H FY19 as compared to 1H FY18. The group recorded regular profit after tax of $186.7 million and statutory profit after tax of $179.2 million for H1 FY19. The Statutory Profit after tax has increased by 22.6% as compared to the previous corresponding period.
The net increase in the regular profit was attributable to a number of investments materially increasing contributions. New Hope Corporation was up by 27.3% driven by higher coal prices and increased volumes from Bengalla. Brickworks was by up 73.7%, driven by very strong property earnings, which were partly offset by Round Oak Minerals, due to significant start-up costs and expenses associated with the development of various projects.
During the half year period, the value of WHSP’s portfolio increased by 10.2 percent, outperforming the all ordinaries by 17.0 percent. WHSP delivered outstanding results for shareholders with a Total Shareholder Return for the year ended 31 January 2019 of 56.5%. The increase in the value of the portfolio was primarily driven by strong share price performances by New Hope, TPG and Brickworks. The increases in the value of the largest three investments were partly offset by a reduction in the value of the Financial Services, Pharmaceutical and Listed Equity portfolios which were all affected by equity market conditions during the half-year period.
For the half year ended 31 January 2019, the company’s Board declared a fully franked final dividend of 24 cents per share, representing an increase of 4.3% over last year’s final dividend. The record date for the dividend is 18 April 2019 and Payment date is 9 May 2019.
While commenting on the outlook, the company’s Managing Director, Todd Barlow said that the company’s portfolio is well positioned to deliver continued growth while being largely uncorrelated with the rest of the equity market. The company is expecting that the performance of thermal coal, telecommunications subscriptions and property will continue to perform even if general market conditions soften.
He further told that the company is having a financial capacity to make new investments and is always looking for opportunities where its long term, patient and disciplined investment approach can deliver outperformance for shareholders.
Now, let’s have a glance at the company’s stock performance and the return it has posted over the past few months. The stock is trading at a price of $28.275, down by 1.205% during the day’s trade with a market capitalisation of ~$6.85 billion as on 21 March 2019 (AEST 1:54 PM). The counter opened the day at $28.700 and reached the day’s low of $27.990 with a daily volume of ~ 392,035. The stock has provided a year till date return of 17.58% & also posted returns of 19.05%, 13.84% & -2.29% over the past six months, three & one-months period respectively. It had a 52-week high price of $31.870 and touched 52 weeks low of $17.110, with an average volume of ~ 398,133.