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

  • Costa Group (CGC) – Higher citrus export prices are likely to more than offset cheaper berries. JP Morgan says expects deflation in blueberries to continue but the potential for higher citrus export pricing to offset margin declines in the berry category is expected.
  • Pilbara Minerals (PLS) – Has landed a supply and investment agreement with a major Chinese car company to ship 150k tonnes of lithium a year. It is the first deal where an Australian miner will supply an electric vehicle manufacturer with lithium.
  • OrotonGroup (ORL) – Posted a $14.3m loss with earnings and sales hit by massive losses at the Gap stores, discontinued Oroton categories, lower sales and adverse currency movements. ORL has announced that it will exit all Gap store lease commitments at the end of the first half of 2018. It also booked impairment charges relating to disappointing sales during key sale periods since Boxing Day 2016 and the soft retail outlook.
  • QBE – Expects a US$600m impairment charge to hit its bottom line due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and an earthquake in Mexico. This has investors losing faith in the stock. QBE is down more than 20% this year.
  • TechnologyOne (TNE) shares were hit after the company issued a profit downgrade. It downgraded its guidance to 7%-9% for 2017 which is down from its previous guidance range of 10%-15%. The downgrade comes on the back of a longer than expected return to profitability in the consulting division.
  • Healthscope (HSO) – Shares were up this week after rumours did the rounds of private equity groups and property players were in talks with the company in regards to a potential takeover.
  • CBA – Bell Potter have upgraded the stock to a Buy from Hold. The broker believes is back and the recent pullback is a good buying opportunity.
  • A2 Milk (A2M) – Continued its solid upward march after it was upgraded to buy at Goldman Sachs. Synlait has received registration which will allow exports of the a2 Milk Company Limited’s China label infant formula to China to continue. All manufacturers of infant formula are required to register brands and recipes with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) in order to import products into China, through traditional import channels, from 1 January 2018.
  • Ramsay Health Care (RHC) – Shares are down some 20% since reporting season. FNArena says it’s due to Ramsay’s FY17 report which disappointed. But to add to it, higher bond yields have weighed in on expensive domestic healthcare stocks and regulatory risks in France and UK have affected probability. There are also a significant number of shorters who are adding to the downward pressure. RHC is scheduled to hold its AGM on 16 November. Another upgrade to guidance or major acquisition will lift shares back on track.
  • AuMake (AU8) – Shares in the country’s first listed Chinese Daigou business have doubled. The stock listed this week at a listing price of 8c via a backdoor listing. It’s trading now at 19.5c. 18% of its book were individual daigou shoppers, generally Chinese nationals who purchase cosmetics and healthcare products in Australia and take them back to family in China. The business is a one-stop-product shop for the estimated 40,000 daigou shoppers who funnel Australian products back to family and friends in China. It’s interesting how some of these companies
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) has three new exploration blocks off the north-west coast that are well placed to supply gas into the Pluto LNG project or LNG infrastructure in WA. This acreage adds significant inventory to its Carnarvon Basin portfolio.
  • Reece Group (REH) – Has completed the acquisition of the Viadux business. The business supplies large pipes and equipment to the civil construction industry, water utilities and local councils. Viadux generated revenues of $100 million-plus in 2016-17. No price was disclosed.
  • 3D printing stocks –The Head of international trade analysis at ING says, 3D printing could wipe out almost one-quarter of cross-border trade by 2060. The mass production of goods will disrupt the global flow of goods.
  • Private Health Insurers – Rising mental health claims are causing sharp losses on disability income policies on the big insurers such as – NIB Holdings (NHF), QBE, IAG, AMP and Medibank Private (MPL).