Markets Live: Telstra leads earnings rally

Investors may be further buoyed by Telstra’s announcement in its annual results of a bigger than expected dividend and a share buyback, while Dexus, Goodman Group, Crown and Fairfax Media also report. • On Wall St, S&P 500 +0. 7%, Dow +0. • In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +1. 1%, FTSE +0. 4%, CAC +0. 8%, DAX +1. • Spot gold up $US1. 73 to $US1311. • Brent oil rises $US1. 11 to $US104. • Germany Q2 GDP, EU Q2 advance GDP, US June business inventories, US July import ../../../2014/08/markets-live-telstra-leads-earnings-rally/price_index.___8226.css; Telstra, Dexus, Southern Cross Media, Fairfax Media, Goodman Group and Crown results. • CIMB has maintained an “add” rating on mining giant Rio Tinto, increasing its target price to $92 compared with its current share price of $67. 75. • Morgan Stanley has retained an “overweight” rating on electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi, revising its share price down to $21 from $24. • The following stocks will trade ex-dividend today: Advanced Share Registry final, Antilles Oil and Gas NL stock split, Aspermont rights issue, Australand Property Group final, Milton Corp final and special cash. 9:01am: Good morning and welcome to the Markets Live blog for Thursday.

Revenue from trading in the first five weeks of financial year 2015 is down about 1 to 2 per cent, the company said in an update. “We finished the 2014 financial year with a strong balance sheet which positions us well to build our current businesses and invest for the future,” chief executive Greg Hywood said. “Following receipt of proceeds from the sale of Stayz, we finished the year with net cash of $68 million, an improvement from net debt of $154 million at June 2013.

Alliance expects to deliver a result in the the financial year ending June 2015 that is more in line with the $23 million that it reported in financial 2013. 9:24am: Industrial property giant Goodman Group has delivered a full year operating profit of $601 million, up 10 per cent on last year and in line with guidance given before the end of the financial year but below consensus forecasts.

A “highlight of the full-year” results was the improved profitability in Metropolitan Media, which includes The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald andThe Age, Hywood said. EBITDA rose 41. 3 per cent on the year earlier to $120. 9 million, boosted by revenue from digital subscriptions and “an ongoing focus on cost”, he said.

Telstra’s shares are leading gains among blue chips, up 1. 1 per cent. 10:02am: Casino operator Crown Resorts said its full-year net profit after tax rose 66 per cent to $655. 8 million, which was buoyed by growth in the company’s Macau joint venture, while the domestic casinos in Melbourne and Perth battled against weak consumer sentiment.

Read more here: SMH


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