Earnings season wrap: Rio Tinto's dividend surprises

Nicholas Grove  |  10/02/2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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David Ellis: NAB was a little bit soft but only a touch, still pretty much in line, $1.6 billion cash profit for the quarter. It was only a trading update and trading updates can be volatile. No change to our long-term positive view, no change to our $31 fair value and no change to our wide economic moat. Looks alright. I'm expecting a pretty solid full-year result later in the year.

Macquarie Group didn't specify their earnings. So, it was quite a general high-level update, trading update. Macquarie confirmed their full-year guidance, which is broadly in line with the $2 billion profit reported for the 2016 financial year. Overall, pretty steady as she goes. Some of the divisions are doing better than others. But overall, the result for the 2017 financial year, which we're forecasting about $2.1 billion, we think that will be achievable. So, a pretty solid overall result.

Nicholas Grove: And anything in the NAB or MQG results that came as a surprise?

Ellis: Well, with NAB, we got a pleasant surprise with bad debts. Bad debts were significantly lower than I thought and we'll probably see that across the sector, the four major banks this year, which will surprise a few people. Margins disappointed a little bit. They were broadly stable, but that followed quite a sharp decline in the previous six months. So, margins surprised a little bit on the soft side; bad debts surprised a little bit on the positive side.

Grove: And MQG, no real surprises?

Ellis: No. No real surprises. Strong balance sheet. As I said, the guidance was the general guidance. The vague guidance was confirmed and no change to our fair value, no change to our earnings forecast for the full financial year.

Adam Fleck: Transurban's results were basically as expected. The company is reaping the fruits of its labour from some prior investments including working on wrapping up some of its US assets and saw some good traffic growth there. It saw some continued weakness in the Melbourne CityLink, not really a surprise given some of the widening they are doing there. We expect that will have a more advantageous response from a growth perspective looking out in 2018 and beyond, but basically, as expected. This wide moat company really continues to enjoy good growth from pricing and solid profitability improvement.

Mark Taylor: CIMC's earnings were in line with expectations, a moderate increase on the previous corresponding period. But the quality of the increase was in question because it was driven largely by higher depreciation and lower tax rate.

Mathew Hodge: Yes. So, I mean, it was a pretty strong result I guess. The market really kind of knew that. I guess the surprise was the company had the ability to pay out more as a dividend and did and that's a positive thing in our view, something that miners weren't doing, planting too much back in the ground. But if they are going to return more money to shareholders, that's a positive.

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