Australian Shares


Seven’s bad reception

What do you avoid in an industry sector that has a doubtful future? Debt might be one obvious answer. But no-one has told Australia’s television networks. The merger between West Australian News and the Seven Group will only create synergies of $15 million. The merged entity will sit on a net debt to EBITDA of


New bull market for stocks?

This blogger is a regular trader of the Australian stock market, and one of his studies has been – why do stock markets start a new bull market? There are many technical reasons/readings one can make, but the key prerequisite for a new bull market in stocks is economic growth. So this blogger uses macro-economic


Dutch Disease hits earnings

What will Australia’s industry base look like after the mining boom has become dominant (assuming it will)? The effect on the currency is clear enough, with it trading at parity. The latest reporting season for listed stocks gives us another clue. It is very much a case of rich man, poor man. According to Deutsche


Fortescue arrives

Friday was an interesting day for Andrew Forrest, chief executive of Fortescue Metals Group, one of the few people in the last two decades to successfully carve out a position against an Australian cartel. In the morning the company announced its first dividend, which was deemed by no less an authority than Bank of America-Merrill


Weekly Market Analysis: 5000 and beyond?

The ASX200 finished the week at 4936 points, up 56 points or 1.15%. Total move so far this month has been a stunning 3.85%. The 200 is approaching its mid-April 2010 high (pre “Flash Crash”) after almost a year of trading sideways before The Bernank decided it was time again for commodity traders to buy


The flying wombat

When it comes to investing in shares, Australians love paying high prices for former government-owned monoliths.  And the love affair continues as Qantas (QAN) released its half years results with a headline $417 million underlying profit, before tax. The economic commentariat gave mixed reviews, with Royal Bank of Scotland saying the result was reasonable whilst


Big bull

The equity bulls are loudly spruiking their bull and the big cap stocks might be a beneficiary. A report by Southern Cross Equities (see below) puts the case. It notes that most equity strategists are recommending only “neutral” sector weightings in the two major sectors in Australia, materials and financials. But Southern Cross’ “multi-factor quant


Gearing down

My fellow blogger, Houses and Holes, has magisterially, even regally, detailed how private debt has come to matter in Canberra circles since the global financial crisis. It seems Australia’s largest companies agree. The game of pass the parcel – private business gets the profits and ideological smugness; governments get the losses, debt problems and blame


Capital question

What are companies going to do with their abundant capital? The answer to that question will determine much about the medium term future of global stock markets. Much has been made of the two speed global economy, with the developed world struggling and the developing world growing fast. But there is another two speed system,


Madonna grows a third

With the US stock market on one of the greatest tears that this blogger can recall and the NASDAQ just 50 points shy of its post-bust high, it’s time we took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. Above is the most amazing chart in modern finance: 25 years of the S&P500 graphed


Telstra versus Rio

Two exalted members of Australia’s cartels are in town and telling very different stories. Telstra lobbed a 36% profit fall, albeit accompanied by bullish forecasts about the company’s glorious transformation. Rio Tinto reported a massive US$14 billion full year profit and a 20 per cent jump in its dividend. It is hard to imagine two


Macquarie’s new normal

What exactly was normal about a global debauch with inflated asset prices, the proliferation of eye watering levels of debt, the invention of multiple layers of new forms of securitisation and derivatives that imperilled the entire monetary system, circular risk management practices and a Wall Street and City of London-driven kleptocracy whose greed ultimately led


Australia underpriced?

OK, Australian mining’s booming. But the stock market is not reflecting it. A report by Deutsche Bank ranks equity market returns in local currency since the beginning of last year. Australia comes second last, with only Brazil doing worse. Both countries are beneficiaries of the commodities boom and China’s rise, which tells you something about


Qantas’ wake turbulence

The news that Qantas is looking at an alliance with a large Asian carrier may be too little too late. Will Qantas have much of a brand to bring to the table? Its heavy focus on the domestic market has not done its brand any favours, indeed it has done damage.  In order to have a


Dutch Disease hits profit season

Analysts’ forecasts for the reporting season are showing just how biased the Australian economy is becoming towards the mining sector. UBS is estimating earnings per share growth for this financial year to be 14.4 per cent. Resources are predicted to be up 43 per cent, the rest of the market up only 4.5 per cent.


Digging for dividends

Here’s the latest idea in the market. Dividend payments from mining companies (yes, some mining companies pay dividends). The long term commodity boom, which is dominated by a global oligopoly, may be triggering a change in the way mining companies are evaluated, away from capital gains and towards dividend. Analysts are trying to ride the sentiment; probably as a


Buying the dips

Today’s report by UBS on global equity market performance in last December highlights the value of buying after bad news. The best performing market was … Greece. Presumably after the announcements that Japan and China would pitch into help the Eurozone debt auctions. Those who bought during the Greece crisis will have done well. Of course China will help the Euro; it is positioning to take


Go Wes young man

Will the uprising in Egypt be an influence on the Woolworths share price? The interconnection of the global economy can be exaggerated, of course. The news that Coles is rapidly catching up will be exciting more investment attention in the short term. Coles’ food and liquor sales grew by 6.3%in the latest half compared with 3.5%


Up or Downer

OK, the stock’s a dog. But might it be a counter cyclical punt? The announcement by Downer EDI that it would make a further $250 million provision for its Waratah project saw the shares fall by about a fifth. “Problems are compounding with no end in sight” Morningstar warns. “Here we go again” Macquarie Equities


The trouble with being normal

There is the sound of distant murmuring as concerns rise in the media and amongst economists that inflation is on the rise, raising the prospect that the Reserve Bank will raise rates further. Australia, it seems, is different and that has consequences for investment. It already has comparatively high interest rates compared with most of the developed


Village gossip

The news that Village Roadshow is looking to sell its 52% stake in its radio investment Austereo has led to speculation amongst the chatterazzi that Village is looking to privatise. Maybe. Although if the chatterazzi are predicting it surely that is unlikely to be the real motive. More probable is that Village needs the cash.



The chatterazzi are indulging in hand wringing over Woolworths’ first profit downgrade since the company re-listed 19 years ago. “Strange days indeed” says one broker. “Myriad factors” are “laying siege to the fortunes and future of our major retailers” says The Age. Have to keep a watchful eye on those “myriad factors” at all times


Fostering failure

Australia’s corporate sector, having resoundingly failed the test of globalisation, is now unerringly positioning itself to become part of the global food chain. Many ASX listed companies are likely to be swallowed up by global players that possess the managerial skill so lacking in Australia’s cartels. Just imagine how much more they will be worth if they are