The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) added 0.2%, to close at 4,388.4, led by the big banks as consumer sentiment rises to a 19 month high, following increases of 1% and 1.6% in the previous two months. That perhaps indicates that the RBA’s 1.5% cut to official interest rates is finally having an effect.
The Australian dollar is up slightly against the US dollar, currently buying 104.4 cents.
These three stocks were the best performers in the index, rising more than 4%.
CSR Limited (ASX: CSR) climbed 7.1% to close at $1.665, despite reporting a 60% fall in half-year earnings. Investors were likely buoyed by the company’s reaffirming its full year profit guidance, thanks to better than expected results from its building products and aluminium divisions. The result shows how low expectations are for the housing construction market, which has been going through its worst period in decades. CSR also suggested that the medium-term outlook pointed to a modest improvement.
Mirabela Nickel Limited (ASX: MBN) added 6.4% to close at 41.5 cents. The company’s share price has followed the nickel price down thanks to a slowdown in demand from China. The share price appears to be at the mercy of speculators, and can often move up or down by more than 5% on low volumes. With the company yet to generate any profits from its nickel project in Brazil, and more than $400m of long-term debt, there are better opportunities for Foolish investors out there.
Envestra Limited (ASX: ENV) rose 4.7%, to end at 89 cents. The company owns around 22,000 kms of natural gas pipelines, and operates as a regulated monopoly. Envestra is generally viewed as a lower-risk investment (compared to other shares) and pays a dividend yield of over 6.5% currently. That yield could be enticing investors into the stock, and away from the typical high dividend stocks like the big four banks and Telstra Corporation (ASX: TLS).
If you only invest in one company this year, make it our “Top Stock for 2012-13”. Operating in two hot markets — one set to double by 2012, the other predicted to grow 5x over the next five years — this stock is a solid growth play that also boasts strong recurring revenue, zero debt, and lots of cash. Get its name and full research case in this brand-new FREE report.
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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool’s 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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