Why these 4 ASX shares are storming higher today

In afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has given back its morning gains and sunk into the red. At the time of writing the benchmark index is down 0.3% to 5,789.8 points.

Four shares defying the market decline today are listed below. Here’s why they have stormed higher:

The AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) share price is up over 8% to $2.50. This morning the embattled financial services company advised that it would be returning to shareholders the majority of the net cash proceeds received on the sale of its wealth protection and mature businesses. It also advised of plans to remove $40 million per annum of stranded costs by the first full year post-separation.

The Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) share price is up 3% to $28.28 after the fuel retailer confirmed its FY 2018 Convenience Retail guidance. In addition to this, a broker note out of Ord Minnett reveals that it has retained its buy rating on the company’s shares. It has cut the price target down slightly to $33.50, but this is still significantly higher than where its shares trade today.

The Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV) share price has bounced back from yesterday’s heavy decline with a 12% gain to $7.69. News that Citi had retained its buy rating on the retailer’s shares may have helped with its share price performance today. The broker is still bullish on Lovisa due to its high levels of profitability and its international expansion plans. However, it has warned that comparable store sales could get worse before they get better.

The NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) share price has zoomed 6.5% higher to $5.55 after the private health insurer upgraded its full year earnings guidance. According to the release, the company expects underlying operating profit (UOP) to be at least $190 million. This compares to nib’s previous guidance of $180 million. This improved earnings outlook was primarily driven by a prolonged benign claims environment, especially in its Australian residents health insurance business.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended NIB Holdings Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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