What: Shares of Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) have rallied to a new all-time high this morning after the rubber glove and condom manufacturer reported strong earnings results for its first-half operations. The stock rose as much as 8.4% to $25 per unit before settling at around $24.50.
So What: Ansell delivered a strong lift in its interim profit result and said that the strong momentum should be carried forward into the second half. For the six-months ending 31 December 2014, net profit rose 33.7% to US$87.7 million on the back of a 20.4% rise in sales to US$847.3 million. Earnings per share (EPS) rose 15.5% to US 57.3 cents per share (cps), which led to a 17.6% increase in the interim dividend to US 20 cps.
The result was boosted by a string of well executed acquisitions as well as improving demand in the US economy. The acquisition of BarrierSafe is delivering strong returns, as are Midas and Hands International (a Sri Lankan company), although the company said that the real value from the latter two should be seen in future results.
Now What: Despite “uneven conditions” in the global economy, the company said it expects full-year EPS to be between US 118 cents and US 126 cents, representing growth of between 7% and 15% compared to the 2014 financial year.