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ASX 200 drops 1.5% today, Afterpay falls 3%

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell by just over 1.5% today with Melbourne entering into a lockdown again today.

Australia’s second largest city faces a lockdown of six weeks to halt the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria.

Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) impresses the market

The top performer within the ASX 200 today was Northern Star, its share price rose by 6.5% after delivering its June 2020 update.

Within the update the gold miner said that its cash, bullion and investments rose by 40% to A$769.5 million at 30 June 2020 compared to A$551.4 at 31 March 2020. This meant the company finished with a net cash position. It had corporate bank debt of $700 million at 30 June 2020. It repaid $200 million of that debt on 6 July 2020.

Northern Star stated that it generated underlying free cashflow of $217.9 million in the three months to June 2020 after selling 262,717 ounces of gold. This took the total sales for the 2020 financial year to 900,388 ounces, while gold produced totalled 905,177 ounces. This was 1.6% lower than the low end of the FY20 guidance.

In light of the “solid result”, Northern Star said it will pay its FY20 fully franked interim dividend of 7.5 cents per share on 16 July 2020. The payment of this dividend, which totals A$55 million, was postponed when the ASX 200 gold miner withdrew its FY20 guidance a few months ago.

The company expects to resume dividend payments in the ordinary course of business.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) completes its $650 million institutional capital raising

The buy now, pay later business said that it had successfully raised the target amount of $650 million from institutional investors. The placement was priced at $66 per share.

Afterpay said the capital raising was strongly supported by existing and new shareholders. Co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nicholas Molnar managed to each sell 2.05 million shares at the placement price of $66 per share. They have committed not to sell any other shares until after the 2020 annual general meeting (AGM).

Afterpay director Elana Rubin said: “The market has responded strongly to our aspiration to further accelerate our investment in growing underlying sales and expanding our global footprint, with the placement being oversubscribed. We are very pleased with the support we have received from our existing shareholders and we welcome our new investors to the register.”

Regular retail investors will soon be able to buy up to $20,000 worth of the ASX 200 share at the lower price of $66 and the 5-day value weighted average price of Afterpay shares up to the share purchase plan (SPP) closing date.

Splitit Ltd (ASX: SPT) share price jumps 8%

The rapidly-rising buy now, pay later business released its quarterly update today.

Splitit’s merchant sales volume grew 260% to US$65.4 million in the three months to 30 June 2020 compared to the prior corresponding period. This was a 176% increase on the previous quarter.

The company’s non-GAAP revenue rose 460% to US$2.4 million for the quarter, it represented a 246% rise on the first quarter of 2020.

Total merchants rose 104% over the past 12 months to 1,000 merchants. Total unique shoppers jumped 85% to 309,000.

Splitit’s average order value increased by 44% (compared to the prior corresponding period) to US$893.

Some of the large new merchants that are now live and signed include Purple, Daily Sale, Quiet Kat, Dreamcloud, Bedmart, Scorptec, Tatami Fightwear, Sofa Club and Alpina Watches.

New Splitit partnerships have been made with Mastercard, Finance for Group and Blue Snap.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. 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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