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Why Bega Cheese and Chorus shares are soaring higher today

share price higher

With the S&P/ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX: XJO) dropping lower again today, here are two ASX 200 shares that are seeing particularly strong gains. Let’s take a look at why each of these companies is moving higher today.

Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA)

The Bega Cheese share price is up by 5.62% today to be currently trading at $4.51 at the time of writing. Today’s rise comes on the back of some impressive gains yesterday which saw Bega shares close 6.48% higher.

These impressive share price gains in a highly turbulent market appear to be driven by Bega’s half-year results which were released to the market on Monday. Overall, the financial set of numbers, while not appearing particularly strong on the surface, has seemingly exceeded market expectations.

Bega reported revenue of $741.2 million in the half, up 14% on 1H19, as the Bega Cheese segment performed particularly well. Meanwhile, in challenging market conditions, statutory earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 1% to $39.3 million.

The company highlighted that its earnings had been impacted by an industry-wide reduction in milk supply and margins. This industry-wide trend was particularly evident in Northern Victoria.

Bega has maintained its full-year FY20 guidance of normalised EBITDA in the range of $95 million to $105 million. The company has been accelerating the development of new product ranges across its spreads, snacking, and dairy portfolio. Pleasingly for shareholders, Bega’s international branded food business has continued its solid sales growth with strong demand for Australian dairy products, particularly in Asia.

Chorus Ltd (ASX: CNU)

In a market that has mainly been a sea of red over the past week, one company that has managed to buck the trend is New Zealand telecommunications provider Chorus.

The Chorus share price has risen by 3.99% so far today to be currently trading at $7.04 at the time of writing. Meanwhile, since the start of last week, Chorus shares have risen by a very impressive 15.79%. This price surge appears to be very much linked to the release of Chorus’ half-year earnings which occurred right when the rally started.

Chorus reported relatively flat revenue and earnings growth for the first half of FY20. Operating revenue for the period came in at NZ$483 million, a slight decrease on the NZ$489 million achieved in the prior corresponding period.

While these results may not have appeared impressive on the surface, Chorus’ relatively strong performance in rolling out its ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network gave the company the confidence to increase its FY20 guidance. With this, management lifted full-year EBITDA guidance to a new range of NZ$640 million to NZ$655 million, up from the previously guided NZ$625 million to NZ$645 million.

I believe this, in particular, has led to Chorus exceeding market expectations which has sparked a strong share price rally ever since.

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Motley Fool contributor Phil Harpur has no position in any of the 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 Scott Phillips.

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