The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by around 0.6% today to 6,126 points.
The biggest rise of the day didn’t belong to an ASX share announcing a report:
Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) takes off
A very positive US announcement sent the Mesoblast share price up 39% today.
The ASX 200 company said that Oncological Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted in favour that the available data supports the efficacy of remestemcel-L (RYONCIL) in pediatric patients with steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease (SR-aGVHD).
Mesoblast chief medical officer Dr Fred Grossman said: “Steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease is an area of extreme need, especially in vulnerable children under 12 years old where there is no approved therapy. We are very encouraged by today’s outcome and are committed to working closely with the FDA as they complete their review of our submission”.
Pediatric transplant physician Dr Joanne Kurtzberg said: “This devastating condition has an extremely poor prognosis and there are no FDA-approved options for children under the age of 12. The clinical studies I have directed have demonstrated the potential for this treatment to fill a significant unmet medical need.”
National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) impresses
NAB released its FY20 third quarter update today.
The big four ASX 200 bank said that its cash earnings of $1.55 billion was down by 7% compared to the third quarter of FY19. Cash earnings before tax and credit impairment charges was up 5%. Unaudited statutory net profit came in at $1.5 billion.
NAB had a common equity tier 1 ratio (CET1) of 11.6% at 30 June 2020. The bank recently raised $4.25 billion from its institutional placement and share purchase plan.
Compared to the FY20 first half quarterly average, and excluding ‘large notable items’, cash earnings increased 24% and cash earnings before credit impairment charges increased 17%. Revenue rose by 10% reflecting higher markets and treasury income which included the reversal of unrealised mark-to-market losses.
NAB’s net interest margin (NIM) was “broadly stable” but fell a little because of the low interest rate environment. Expenses rose 2%.
The percentage of loans that are over 90 days past due increase to 1.06%.
NAB CEO Ross McEwan offered some encouraging words:
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge our customers and our bank, with varied impacts across industries and communities. The outlook remains highly uncertain, but decisive actions in April to strengthen our balance sheet allow us to support customers, while keeping our bank safe.
“We have a clear plan for NAB and we are getting on with it, including quickly embedding our new operating model and creating clear accountabilities. We are investing in our colleagues and executing fewer, more important projects. This will make a real difference to how well we serve customers and drive sustainable performance.”
ASX 200 share NAB saw its share price rise 1.2% today.
Baby Bunting Group Limited (ASX: BBN) booms
The Baby Bunting share price went up over 10% today after releasing its FY20 report.
Baby Bunting said that its total sales increased by 11.8% today to $405.2 million with comparable sales growth of 4.9%. Online sales grew by 39.1%.
Its gross margin improved by 120 basis points to 36.2%.
Pro forma earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 24.1% to $33.7 million and pro forma net profit after tax (NPAT) rose by 34.1% to $19.3 million. Statutory NPAT fell 14% to $10 million – this included business transformation costs and impairment charges.
Baby Bunting confirmed it didn’t qualify for jobkeeper payments.
The retailer announced a final dividend of 6.4 cents per share, bringing the full year dividend to 10.5 cents per share.
In the first six weeks of FY21 the company has seen comparable store sales growth of 20%, which includes the effect of Victoria’s restrictions, though Baby Bunting stores continue to operate. In FY21 Baby Bunting expects to open between four to six new stores.
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