ASX 200 down 0.1%: Telstra update impresses, AMP sinks, Newcrest jumps

AMP Ltd (ASX:AMP) and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) shares are making a splash on the ASX 200 on Thursday. Here’s why…

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At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a decline. The benchmark index is currently down 0.1% to 6,849.9 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Telstra share price higher on half year update

The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is pushing higher on Thursday following the release of its half year results. The telco giant reported a 10.4% decline in total income to $12 billion and a 14.2% reduction in underlying EBITDA to $3.3 billion. The latter was largely due to an estimated in-year NBN headwind of $370 million and an estimated $170 million impact from COVID-19. Positively, Telstra’s free cash flow was strong, allowing the board to maintain its 8 cents per share dividend. It also confirmed that it plans to maintain its fully franked full year dividend of 16 cents per share.

AMP share price sinks

The AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP) share price is sinking today after releasing its full year results and revealing a sharp reduction in profits. For the 12 months ended 31 December, the financial services company reported an underlying net profit after tax of $295 million. This was down 33% on the prior corresponding period. According to the release, AMP’s result reflects the impacts of COVID-19 on its clients, its business, and the broader economy and financial markets.

AGL posts $2.3 billion half year loss

The AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) share price is trading slightly higher today despite posting a massive half year loss. For the six months ended 31 December, the energy company recorded a statutory loss after tax of $2.3 billion. This was due to previously announced onerous contract provisions and impairment charges of ~$2.7 billion. On an underlying basis, profit after tax fell 27% to $317 million. This includes $74 million of insurance receipts relating to FY 2020’s Loy Yang Unit 2 outage.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) share price with a 5.5% gain. This morning the gold miner reported a 98% jump in half year underlying profit to US$553 million. The worst performer has been the AMP share price with a 9% decline following its full year results release.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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