In this section we look at all the important announcements affecting companies this week.

  • Flight Centre (FLT) – Shares went on a rally this week after the company fast-tracked its expansion in New Zealand with two acquisitions – Travel Managers Group and Executive Travel Group. It has also strengthened its North American presence by acquiring Les Voyages Laurier du Vallon which generates about $C100million in total transaction value.
  • Crown Resorts (CWN) is facing allegations that it told staff to ignore a domestic violence incident because it involved a visiting South East Asian politician. In the process it didn’t allow a chef to attend the first aid office until the end of his shift even though he had serious burns.
  • Cochlear (COH) – Has announced that its CEO Chris Smith will retire on January 2, 2018 and will be replaced by COO Dig Howitt.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) – Has more than doubled annual sales of oil and gas. FY sales hit $2.2bn up from $1.08bn on a year earlier, thanks to both higher prices and production. The ramp up was driven primarily by the APLNG venture in QLD.
  • Infigen Energy (IFN) – Released its production and revenue report. Shares rebounded after the company said its full-year production was up 1% on the previous year and FY unaudited revenue was up 14% to $196.7m.
  • Webjet (WEB) has announced the acquisition of UK Jac Travel which is believed to be worth $200m. The company will undertake a capital raising to fund the acquisition. WEB shares have fallen lately after it revealed it was in disagreement with its auditor BDO over how it accounts for transactions linked to tour operator Thomas Cook.
  • Discretionary retailers – A report by UBS says Amazon will likely steal 2% of Australian retail sales within 5 years of its launch. Its launch will have a material impact on local retailer’s profits. The most exposed are JB Hi-Fi (JBH), Super Retail Group (SUL) and Myer (MYR). Amazon’s pressure on retail prices could also have a negative effect on the economy. It put pressure on the weak retail employment sector.
  • Steadfast Group (SDF) – Has rallied close to 10% this week after a broker note by Credit Suisse and JP Morgan bot point towards a strong full-year result later this month.
  • NAB – Has removed its sales incentive system and will move to a sales based incentive program similar to that used to evaluate the performance of senior managers and executives. This means that the reward won’t be on product sales but rather on a scorecard approach which includes customer outcomes, risk outcomes and financial outcomes.
  • NextDC (NXT) – Has increased its offer for Asia Pacific Data Centres in a bid to knock out a competing offer from 360 Capital. NXT has upped its offer from $1.85 to $1.87 a share. It values APDC at around $215m.
  • Qube (QUB) – With Amazon’s entry and construction of a warehouse in Dandenong, it will make Qube’s Moorebank freight hub more attractive to retailers. Most will be on the hunt to strip out costs and one way to do this is to establish warehouses at the Moorebank hub. QUB is likely to offer competitive pricing to entice retailers to move to Moorebank which is closer to Port Botany. It’s all positive news for QUB.
  • OrotonGroup (ORL) – Has walked away from its franchise agreement with US retailer The GAP Inc. The company said it was too early to say what the financial impacts would be but it was limiting any future losses by cutting its relationship with the GAP. The 6 store it owns are all loss making GAP stores.
  • Primary Health (PRY) – Plans to shut down its data entry support office in Manila which will render 100 odd jobs obsolete as the company looks to save on costs. The company is rumoured to have signed a new outsourcing deal with an Indian company called Tata Group.
  • Webjet (WEB) – Has announced that it will acquire UK-based JacTravel for $330m. It is a strategic move to transforms the company into the number two player in business-to-business travel globally. The transaction will be funded by the combination of an entitlement offer, cash and debt.