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Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 3/25/14

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By Tom Piotrowski, CommSec Market Analyst | March 25, 2014 1:25 PM EST

Mid Session Report
(12:30 AEDT)

Sellers have dictated terms in early trade on the ASX on Tuesday. The unconvincing tone on Wall St in addition to underlying concerns about the state of Chinese growth have been enough to keep every ASX sector in the red.

On balance Tuesday's corporate news has tended to be better than expected. Retailer Premier Investments (PMV) reported a net profit of $52.1 million for the six months to January 25, up from $46.5 million for the same period last year, an increase of 12%. The group which owns brands such as Dotti, Portmans, Jacqui E, Just Jeans and Jay Jays reported sales rising up by 5.3 per cent over the half. Like-for-like sales grew 4.4 per cent. A short time ago the shares were at $8.71 up $0.66 or 8%.

Internet provider TPG Telecom (TPM) said first half profit rose by 15 per cent due to growth in broadband subscribers. TPG reported a net profit of $90.1 million in the six months to January 31, compared to $78.3 million in the same period in the previous year. Home phone bundle subscribers rose by 61,000 during the half, which balanced a fall in subscribers of other products. TPG upgraded its full year earnings guidance to a range of $325-330 million which is an increase of $25-45 million compared to the previous estimate. TPG will pay a fully franked interim dividend of 4.5 cents per share, up from 3.5 cents a year ago. A short time ago the shares were at $6.25 a gain of $0.49 or 8.5%

Australand (ALZ) has raised its earnings guidance reflecting strong demand for its newly constructed homes. The property developer said earnings per security in 2014 will be up between 17 and 20 per cent. Distributions are expected to rise by 19 per cent to 25.5 cents. ALZ says it has enjoyed price growth across several projects leading to the expectation that earnings are likely to be higher than earlier anticipated. ALZ shares were at $4.21 a short time ago, a gain of $0.04 or 1.1%.

The belief that US interest rates could rise earlier than anticipated continues to play havoc with gold miners. Overnight spot gold fell to $1,309.00 a fall of 1.9 per cent.; Newcrest Mining was at $10.28 down $0.50 or 4.7 per cent.

The Aussie dollar has recovered from the weaker tone seen on Monday to be trading at $US 0.945.

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