ASX 200 flat: Afterpay impresses, Coles beats expectations, & HUB24 in a trading halt

Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) and Coles Group Ltd (ASX:COL) shares are making a splash on the ASX 200 on Wednesday…

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At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fought back from early weakness and fighting to get into positive territory. The benchmark index is currently roughly flat at 6,048.1 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Afterpay impresses.

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is surging higher today after the release of its first quarter update. The payments company’s update revealed that its strong growth has continued in FY 2021. For the three months ended 30 September, Afterpay reported a 115% increase in underlying sales to a record of $4.1 billion. This was driven by increased usage and further strong customer growth. Afterpay ended the period with 11.2 million active customers. This was a 98% increase on the prior corresponding period.

Coles beats expectations.

The Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price is pushing higher today after the release of a stronger than expected first quarter update. For the three months ended 30 September, Coles delivered a 10.5% increase in total sales revenue over the prior corresponding period to $9.6 billion. As a comparison, analysts at Goldman Sachs were forecasting total first quarter sales of $9,365 million, up 7.7% on the prior corresponding period. All three of Coles’ segments performed positively and delivered strong same store sales growth.

HUB24 equity raising.

The HUB24 Ltd (ASX: HUB) share price is in a trading halt today after launching an equity raising this morning. The investment platform provider is aiming to raise $60 million to fund three strategic transactions. This includes the acquisition of investment platform provider Xplore Wealth Ltd (ASX: XPL). The total investment for the transactions is approximately $93 million, with HUB24 expecting them to deliver approximately 13% earnings per share accretion in FY 2022.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) share price with a 10% gain. This morning Credit Suisse upgraded its shares to a neutral rating from underperform following its AGM update. The worst performer has been the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CDI (ASX: URW) share price with a 4% decline. This morning the shopping centre operator revealed that leading independent proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, has recommended that shareholders vote in favour of its 3.5 billion euros capital increase.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Hub24 Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Blackmores Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and COLESGROUP DEF SET. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Hub24 Ltd. 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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