The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is set to open marginally lower today, with the Sydney Futures Exchange pointing to an 11-point decline. Earnings results will continue to command the market’s focus today, but first, here’s a quick recap of how international markets performed on Friday:
- FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.02%
- DAX (Germany): down 0.27%
- CAC 40 (France): down 0.08%
- Dow Jones (USA): down 0.2%
- NASDAQ (USA): up 0.09%
National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) delivered its third-quarter trading update today, which investors will compare to the recent results reported by the bank’s major competitors.
It reported a 3% dip in cash earnings to $1.6 billion (compared to the prior corresponding period), impacted by a 21% increase in charges for bad and doubtful debts. It also reported a lower net interest margin (NIM) which reflects the profitability on the loans it creates.
Meanwhile, JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) reported a 5.4% lift in comparable sales (8.3% lift in total sales) while net profit after tax (NPAT) rose 11.5%.
Rubber glove and condom manufacturer Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN), on the other hand, reported a 4.4% decline in sales and a huge 14.2% decline in earnings per share. It also provided a wide range for expected growth in financial year 2017 between 2% and 17%.
Aurizon Holdings Ltd (ASX: AZJ) reported a 16% decline in net profit after tax (NPAT), but Orora Ltd (AS: ORA) lifted its NPAT by 24.8%.
Elsewhere, investors in the resources sector will consider what a 1.7% lift in the iron ore price and a 2% lift in oil prices means for their shares. That could bode well for businesses such as BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO).
Finally, in broker news, UBS has cut its price target on GBST Holdings Limited (ASX: GBT) by 6.6% to $4.78. The shares closed at $4.54 on Friday and are trading almost 22% below their 52-week high price of $5.81.