Australian investors are in good spirits heading into the weekend, with the market slightly higher at the close of today’s session. The push higher was led by mining and energy stocks, with the S&P/ASX 200 finishing up 18.8 points at 5526.7. The market was marginally down for the week however, 4 points or 0.08% lower.
There were several big pieces of news this week amongst the larger end of the market. Healthcare giant CSL Limited (CSL.ASX) reported on Wednesday, announcing a full year net profit of $1.24bn, which was 10% lower than a year earlier. Shares in CSL finished the week down 7.39%.
AMP Limited (AMP.ASX) had a similar fate when it reported on Thursday announcing a $523m net profit but missing market expectations. The company’s shares traded sharply lower following the result, finishing the week down 5.56%.
On Friday Ardent Leisure (AAD.ASX), who are best known for their gold coast theme park, DreamWorld, announced the sale of their health clubs division. Notable brands in the sale included the Goodlife Health Clubs and the popular ‘Hypoxi’ chain, which were sold for a combined $260m. The market favoured the sale with shares in Ardent trading up 10.39% for the week, at $2.55 per share.
Staff at Baker Young spoke with several listed companies during the week, some of whom visited the Adelaide office. On Thursday, brokers and analysts met with Highfield resources (HFR.ASX) for a brief meeting, in which Highfields new director, Peter Albert, was introduced. Peter has a broad range of experience throughout the world, taking projects through to full production including Oxiana Limited’s project in Laois. Peter is moving to Spain in 10 days, and said he is impressed with the work that has been done on the Highfield project so far.
The desk also has a conference call with the directors of PureProfile limited (PPL.ASX) following their full year results on Wednesday. The report showed impressive revenue growth and Baker Young viewed the report favourably. However, the market sold the shares down sharply in the hours following the report, reaching a low of 41c on Wednesday, possibly due to the top line numbers being skewed by an acquisition during the period. The call with directors reiterated this point, and the company remained confident that they will continue to grow in 2017, planning expansion to the U.K & U.S. By the close of trade on Friday the shares were back to 56c, as positive sentiment returned.