ASX 200 set to fall: 13 shares you need to watch today

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) reported a 3% fall in cash earnings, with margins also falling.

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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%.

Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS) has also reported its earnings, with Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) tipped to announce its own today, as well.

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).

The gold price, on the other hand, slipped 0.2%. It wasn’t a major fall, but could still weigh on shares of St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM), EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) and the market’s other gold miners.

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.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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