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6 ASX100 winners and losers in October

With a few days left in October, which ASX100 companies have been hitting the biggest share price gains and which ones were trailing the pack? Let’s look at three gainers and three losers to see how October has played out.

Gainers

Atlas Iron (ASX: AGO) is benefitting from higher iron ore prices and increased production levels. It has given guidance for 2014 to produce 9.8-10.3 million tonnes, and is expecting stronger demand and less discounting. It reported heavy abnormal charges of $456 million in 2013, but still turned a slight profit of 1.86 cents per share. Its share price is $1.06, up 21% this month, and its price-to-earnings ratio is 57.

Arrium (ASX: ARI), the former OneSteel company, has been recently selling off assets like its aluminium business and its sheet and coil processing and distribution business. The steelmaking industry is facing increased overseas competition, so the sales will make the company leaner and allow it to use the sales proceeds on its core activity businesses, including mining, which is the largest revenue producing segment currently. Its share price is up 11% to $1.41 with a PE ratio of 1.6.

Lend Lease (ASX: LLC) also was up 11% for the month at $11.31. Developments such as the Barangaroo and Darling Harbour sites are moving ahead, and the company is considering expanding into the Asian market for retirement housing and facilities construction and management. A large regional population that will have more senior citizens is an attractive demographic. Its PE is 11.

Losers

Oz Minerals (ASX: OZL) earlier this month announced that production levels of gold and copper were lower than expected in the September quarter. In addition, ore grades were lower, resulting in lower total metal production. The company was downgraded from “overweight” to “neutral” position by Commonwealth Bank. Its share price has slipped down 15% this month and its PE is 8.9.

Qantas  (ASX: QAN) is in a tie at the bottom, down 15% at $1.29 a share. Analysts were concerned about revenue projected by the company to be down 2%-3% in the first half of this financial year compared to the first half of the previous year, as well as the company not being able to give guidance for the full year. Growth into Asian markets continues, especially with its Jetstar subsididary. Its PE is 13.

Iluka Resources (ASX: ILU) reported 11.9% higher production levels of rutile and zircon for the September quarter compared to the June quarter, but compared with the September quarter in 2012, production was down 41.1%. A research report from Credit Suisse still has an “outperform” rating on the company, and RBC Capital has a $13.00 price target on the stock.  Currently at $9.98 a share, its PE is 11.

Foolish takeaway

With the first quarter of 2014 out of the way, it’s time to review your portfolio to see how the story is developing for each of your stocks. Some companies issue quarterly reports, which makes it easier to get the information in one go. Other companies don’t, so keeping up with news online and in the papers is required reading for successful stock pickers. You need to stay fully informed to make the best decisions about adding to or reducing your positions.

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