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ASX 200 ends down 0.6%, AMP (ASX:AMP) share price jumps 20%

ASX 200
Credit: Cimexus

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has finished down by 0.6% to 5,930 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP)

The AMP share price went crazy today, rising around 20% as investors learned of a potential takeover offer.

The ASX 200 company confirmed today that it has received an indicative, non-binding, conditional proposal from Ares Management Corporation to acquire 100% of the shares in AMP.

However, AMP said that the proposal was at a very preliminary stage and warned that there is no certainty that a transaction will eventuate. AMP continues to progress its portfolio review whilst pursuing its three-year transformation strategy.

According to reporting by the Australian Financial Review, the offer is supposedly more than $5 billion.

Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA)

The Western Areas share price dropped 17.7% today after the miner downgraded its FY21 production guidance and increased its unit cash cost of production.

The ASX 200 miner’s original production guidance was 19,000 tonnes to 21,000 tonnes of nickel. However, that production guidance has been reduced to 17,000 tonnes to 19,000 tonnes.

It also said that its unit cash cost of production has worsened. Originally it was guidance of a range of A$3.25 per pound to A$3.75 per pound, but the guidance has worsened to a range of A$3.50 per pound to A$4 per pound.

However, the guidance for mine development, capital growth, the Odysseus development and exploration is unchanged.

Western Areas said that the guidance change is due to the inclusion of increased lower grade ore in FY21, following some isolated seismicity encountered in the lower T6 zone of the Flying Fox mine.

Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said: “Flying Fox has been an exceptional mine over its 15 year life to date, but unfortunately, as it enters its final years there is limited flexibility in the mine plan when unexpected issues occur. While it is disappointing to lower our guidance expectations for FY21, we are continuing to work with our mining contract to reduce operating costs and maximise cashflow generation over Flying Fox’s remaining life.”

Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL)

Buy now, pay later business Sezzle has released its update for the three months to 30 September 2020.

Sezzle reported that its underlying merchant sales (UMS) grew 231.5% year on year to US$228.2 million. The average monthly UMS went up 231.5% as well to US$76.1 million.  This helped Sezzle’s merchant fees go up by 260.6% year on year to US$13 million. Merchant fees as a percentage of UMS grew by 46 basis points to 5.7%.

The company reported that its active consumers rose 178.1% to 1.79 million. Active merchants grew by 178.3% to 20,890. The active consumer repeat usage percentage rose by 748 basis points to 89%.

Sezzle nearly achieved its annualised run rate goal of US$1 billion of UMS in the quarter, with a run-rate of US$986 million.

The CEO of Sezzle, Charlie Youakin, said: “We are extremely proud of our team and what they have accomplished in 2020, but we are not done. Our product initiatives are merchant pipeline have never been better and the current quarter has gotten off to a solid start. We believe we are well-positioned, as we head into our strongest seasonal months of November and December.”

The Sezzle share price initially went up to $7.08, but it ended lower by 4.5%.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Sezzle Inc. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sezzle Inc. 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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