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ASX 200 rises 1%, SEEK (ASX:SEK) jumps 9%

ASX 200
Credit: Cimexus

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) climbed by just over 1% today to 5,956 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the share market:

SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK)

SEEK released an announcement today, noting media speculation relating to potential corporate activity involving Chinese employment platform Zhaopin.

The ASX 200 employment business said that in line with its previously disclosed investments strategy, it will regularly assess strategic options to maximise the long term growth aspirations of its investments.

With that in mind, SEEK said that Zhaopin and its shareholders are holding discussions with a number of parties to assess whether the introduction of new investors could better support Zhaopin’s long term growth aspirations. These discussions may or may not lead to changes with Zhaopin.

According to The Information, that potential investor is Alibaba which may invest hundreds of millions of dollars. The investment could lead to collaborations between Zhaopin and Alibaba which would see the employment business have access to Alibaba’s large customer base.

Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX: SPK)

The New Zealand business released details of a three-year strategy covering FY21 to FY23. The Spark share price rose by nearly 2% today. 

Spark has a number of goals by 2023.

It wants to be primarily wireless with around 80% of relationships on wireless technology. Spark wants to be the leading cloud custodian by bringing the best of private and public cloud together. It’s aiming to have 5G and the internet of things deployed everywhere with unconstrained mobile capacity.

Finally, the business is aiming to have a top decile culture, defined by inclusivity and growth.

Spark Chair Justine Smyth said: “Our next three year strategy builds on the strong foundations we have built over the last three years and remains focussed on what matters most – our customers, our people and supporting New Zealand’s economic transformation.”

The CEO of Spark, Jolie Hodson, said: “Our investment in 5G, edge computing and network slicing will open up new opportunities in wireless and will enable smart business solutions beyond connectivity alone. Our end to end digital services capability across cloud, security and service management positions us well to accelerate digital transformation as businesses adapt to COVID-19.

“We see significant opportunities for growth in IoT, as New Zealand transitions to future ways of working and pursues productivity improvements across all sectors.”

Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) dividend policy

ASX 200 gold miner Gold Road Resources made an announcement today about its dividend policy.

The company said it will target an annual aggregate dividend payout of 15% to 30% of free cash flow for each calendar year in two half yearly payments. The free cashflow is defined as cashflow before debt and dividends.

It will also pay out franking credits. At 31 December 2019 it had $65.7 million of franking credits available for shareholders.

The payment of any dividend will be subject to maintaining a minimum net cash balance of $100 million.

Gold Road will announce any dividend payments when announcing its future full year or half year results.  

Gold Road Resources’ Chair Tim Netscher said: “In less than a year since we declared commercial production at Gruyere, I am pleased to be in a position to announce a dividend policy. The company is debt free and building a strong cash balance.

“The dividend policy seeks to share our strong cash flow generation with our shareholders whilst still allowing us to prioritise ongoing operations and growth opportunities.”

It’s expected that the inaugural dividend will be declared for the six month period ending 31 December 2020. The free cash flow for that period will inform the dividend amount.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended SEEK 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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