ASX 200 sinks 1.3%, Cochlear soars, TWE sours

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) dropped 1.3% on Friday. The Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) share price climbed around 9%.

| More on:
a woman

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell by 1.3% today to 6,794 points.

Reporting season continues to roll on as some companies impress the market.

Here are some of the highlights from today:

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

The Cochlear share price soared by almost 9% today after the healthcare business reported its result for the six months to 31 December 2020.

Cochlear said that its sales revenue fell by 4% to $742.8 million. Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) declined by 4% to $175.6 million and underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) dropped 6% to $125.3 million.

The statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) jumped 50% to $236.2 million with $59 million of patent litigation-related tax and other benefits, $34.7 million of innovation fund gains and $17.2 million of COVID-19 government assistance. However, the company plans to give back the jobkeeper payments to the government.

The ASX 200 company’s board decided to pay a dividend of $1.15 per share, representing a dividend payout ratio of 60%.

In FY21, Cochlear is expecting to deliver underlying net profit of between $225 million and $245 million. This would represent an increase of between 46% to 59% compared to the prior corresponding period. It’s becoming increasingly confident of the resilience of its hearing implant business.

It also expects to target a dividend payout ratio of 70% of underlying net profit and anticipates returning to the 70% ratio as markets continue to improve.

Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING)

Poultry business Inghams was another of today’s top performers in the ASX 200 after reporting its FY21 half-year result.

Inghams reported that its core poultry volume rose by 4% to 224.6kt. Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) went up 4.3% to $218.6 million and underlying NPAT increased by 28.4%.

The poultry business reported that good progress has been achieved in the reduction of frozen poultry inventory arising in FY20 due to COVID-19, down $42.3 million during the half and now close to normal levels.

Inghams’ board decided to declare a fully franked dividend of 7.5 cents per share, which was an increase of 2.7%. This reflected a dividend payout ratio of 74.3% of underlying NPAT.

The CEO and managing director of Inghams, Jim Leighton, said:

These results have been delivered despite the continued impact of COVID-19, ongoing high realised feed prices and the partial closure of Australia’s poultry export channels due to industry biosecurity issues in Victoria. Our strategy is driving performance and delivering improved returns.  

Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE)

The Treasury Wine Estates share price fell by 6% today, making it one of the worst performers in the ASX 200. It has given up some of the gains made yesterday after it rocketed higher.

Today, it was reported by the Australian Financial Review that Michelle Brampton, who is the managing director of the Treasury Wine Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, has resigned and will be leaving in the next few months after TWE announced it was restructuring into new three new business units.

The reason why she reportedly resigned is that despite being a compelling candidate to lead one of the new business units, having held various positions around the company for many years, she was overlooked.

Wondering where you should invest $1,000 right now?

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes could be the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at near dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they could be great buys right now.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Treasury Wine Estates Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Share Market News