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ASX 200 up 0.2%: ANZ and CSL impress, Fortescue declares huge interim dividend

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At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a small gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.2% to 6,897.6 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

ANZ Q1 update impresses

The Australia and New Zealand Banking GrpLtd (ASX: ANZ) share price is charging higher after releasing its first quarter update. For the three months ended 31 December, the banking giant reported unaudited cash earnings from continuing operations of $1,810 million. This was a 54% jump on the average of the last two quarters of FY 2020. The bank also revealed a COVID-19 collective provision release of $173 million. This represents ~10% of the $1,700 million set aside during FY 2020.

CSL half year results

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is pushing higher today after investors responded positively to its half year results. CSL posted a 16.9% increase in revenue to US$5,739 million and a 45% jump in net profit after tax to US$1,810 million. This was driven by growth in its core immunoglobulin portfolio, the successful transition to its own distribution model in China, strong growth HAEGARDA sales, and exceptionally strong demand for influenza vaccines. Management retained its full year profit guidance for FY 2021.

Fortescue declares huge dividend

The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price is rising today after declaring a huge interim dividend with its half year results. For the six months ended 31 December, Fortescue delivered a 44% increase in revenue to US$9,335 million and a 66% lift in net profit after tax to US$4,084 million. This led to the Fortescue board announcing a fully franked A$1.47 per share interim dividend. This is up 93.4% on the prior corresponding period.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) share price with a 12.5% gain. Yesterday the wine company revealed plans to implement a new divisional operating model that will see it operate under three new internal divisions: Penfolds, Treasury Premium Brands, and Treasury Americas. The worst performer has been the NRW Holdings Limited (ASX: NWH) share price with a 17% decline. This follows its half year results release this morning.

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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 CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Treasury Wine Estates 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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