Australian Stock Market Report – Midday 2/27/14

By @ibtimesau on

Mid Session Report (12:00 AEDT)

The ASX 200 skidded lower at the open of trade plumbing a low of 5412 or a loss of 15 points. Whilst the market found some support in that region sellers were still keen to press their claims, meaning that the index showed little sign of recovering over the morning session

Mining services group Bradken (BKN) announced it will not pursue its bid to buy Austin Engineering (ANG) which was announced on the 12th December. BKN intends to maintain a strategic holding" in ANG. ANG shares were weaker at $2.69, a loss of 43 cents or 13%. BKN shares were at $4.51, down 6 cents or 1.3%.

Nine Entertainment Co (NEG) has posted its first interim results since listing in December last year. Pro forma net profit was $95.2 million, compared to a $77 million profit a year ago. The result was ahead of the markets expectations for a profit of $89.2 million. NEG says it's on track to beat the full year profit of $139.5 million which was forecast in the prospectus. The shares were flat at $2.28 a short time ago.

Qantas (QAN) shares have been under pressure from the outset after announcing the biggest loss since listing in 1995. The airline posted an underlying first-half loss of $252 million. QAN plans to cut 5000 jobs in an effort to rein in costs. QAN says more than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold. Aging planes like 747s will be retired early and orders of A380s and B787-8s will be delayed. QAN shares were trading down 7% at A$1.20.

Engineering contractor Transfield Services (TSE) reported a net profit of $4.6 million Australian dollars compared to a $246.7 million loss in the same period a year earlier. The previous year result was defined by a downturn in mining investment resulting in write-downs. TSE expects full year profit ending in June to be in the range of $65 million to $70 million. TSE shares were at 87 cents, a loss of 9 cents or 9%.

Figures released by the ABS showed that companies cut investment in the final 3 months of 2103. Private capital expenditure or CAPEX fell by 5.2% in the fourth quarter, which was a steeper loss than the 1.3% decline expected by the market. The $AUD fell sharply on the news; a short time ago the currency

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