The S&P / ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is trading flat this afternoon after major bank National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) handed in a profit result in line with expectations and traders lack leads to bid the market higher.
However, there are some blue-chip shares falling lower today for differing reasons related to company specific news or the more general macro environment. So let’s take a look at what may be behind some of the big market movers today.
The Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price is down 1.3% to $6.35 today despite the airport releasing no specific news to the market. Sydney Airport is commonly described as a bond proxy stock in that its valuation is vulnerable as benchmark debt yields rise. In the US medium-dated federal debt now yields around 3.1% which is around half that of the yield on Sydney Airport shares but “risk free”. Sydney airport has been steadily growing its dividend however thanks to rising international passenger growth in the main.
The Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC) share price is down 5.7% to $5.23 today and has been volatile for much of 2018 due to its excess debt levels and the headwinds facing internet service providers due to the transition to the national broadband network. At Vocus’s recent AGM it maintained guidance for “earnings growth” in FY 2019, albeit partly based on a stronger second half to the fiscal year.
Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) is the toll road operator that like Sydney Airport has reliable revenue and profit streams, but a lot of debt and a high valuation using conventional metrics. Its shares have fallen 1.7% to $11.13 today in bucking the trend probably because investors feel its valuation may be lowered if debt and cash rates in US dollars rise.
The Santos Group Ltd (ASX: STO) share price is down 1.6% to $6.31 despite the group releasing no news to the market. Oil prices have been under slight pressure over the last week and as an LNG producer Santos’s top line is linked to oil prices. Santos claims that it now produces gas at a cost of less than $40 per barrel of oil and as such would appear to have some breathing room.
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Motley Fool contributor Yulia Mosaleva has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Sydney Airport Holdings Limited and Transurban Group. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Vocus Communications 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.