Hits and misses as the ASX closes flat

The S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has today fallen just 0.1%, to 4,364.3 as Telstra and Commonwealth Bank of Australia both traded ex-dividend, taking a large portion of the index with them.

The Australian dollar has slipped slightly against the greenback, currently buying 104.4 US cents.

Company News

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX: BEN) reported a 43% fall in full year profit, blaming rising funding costs and low demand for loans by consumers. Investors shrugged off the result, with the company’s shares closing virtually unchanged at $8.68.

Pipeline Partners Australia (PPA) has decided not to match APA Group’s (ASX: APA) bid for Hastings Diversified Utility Fund (ASX: HDF), virtually guaranteeing APA Group as the winner. APA had increased its bid to around $2.63 last week, higher than PPA’s offer of $2.43 per security.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Qantas Airways Limited’s (ASX: QAN) CEO Alan Joyce has decided to forgo any incentive payments for the 2012 financial year. He joins a growing list of top execs to give up potential bonuses and pay rises, as companies come under pressure to rein in executive remuneration.

Fleetwood Corporation Limited (ASX: FWD) has seen its share price fall 8%, despite posting a 4% increase in net profit. It seems investors were unhappy with the fall in earnings from the company’s caravans and trailers division, which slumped to just $4m before interest and tax.

Yancoal Australia (ASX: YAL) said it was reviewing its expansion plans after falling coal prices and a strong Australian dollar saw the company report an 83% fall in first half profits. Shares in the company rose 1.7% to close at $1.17.

Winners and losers

From the majors, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) both posted 2% plus rises, closely followed by Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC), up 1.9%.

Telstra Corporation (ASX: TLS) was down 5% after going ex-dividend, while Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) fell 3.7%.

The Foolish bottom line

It’s facing up to be the busiest week of the reporting season, with several heavyweights like BHP Billiton and Woolworths due to report later this week. Watch out for our reports on those plus plenty more companies in the coming days.

If you’re in the market for some high yielding ASX shares, look no further than our “Secure Your Future with 3 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks” report. In this free report, we’ve put together our best ideas for investors who are looking for solid companies with high dividends and good growth potential. Click here now to find out the names of our three favourite income ideas. But hurry – the report is free for only a limited time.

More reading

Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in CSL, BHP, Woolworths and Woodside Petroleum. The Motley Fools purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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