ASX 200 up 0.45%: Premier Investments results, Xero acquisition, Computershare halted

Computershare Ltd (ASX:CPU) and Xero Limited (ASX XRO) shares are in the headlines on the ASX 200 on Wednesday…

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At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has recovered from a soft start and is pushing higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.45% to 6,774.2 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Computershare capital raising and acquisition

The Computershare Ltd (ASX: CPU) share price is in a trading halt on Wednesday while it undertakes a A$835 million capital raising. The stock transfer company launched the capital raising to partly fund the acquisition of the assets of Wells Fargo Corporate Trust Services. The two parties have agreed a purchase price of US$750 million (A$983.2 million). The company expects the acquisition to be at least 15% management earnings per share accretive on a pro forma FY 2021 basis including full run-rate synergies.

Premier Investments half year results

The Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) share price is pushing higher today after investors responded positively to its half year results. For the first half of FY 2021, the retail conglomerate reported a 7.2% increase in global sales to $784.6 million and an 88.9% jump in net profit to $188.2 million. A key driver of its growth was the Peter Alexander business, which reported record sales of $207.7 million. This was supported by a significant lift in online sales, which underpinned a material expansion in its margins.

Xero share price higher on acquisition news

The Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price is rising today after announcing a new acquisition. The cloud-based accounting platform provider is acquiring e-invoicing infrastructure business Tickstar for up to SEK 150 million (~A$22.9 million). This comprises an upfront payment of SEK 60 million and earnout payments of up to SEK 90 million. These earnouts will be based on product development and performance milestones. Sweden-based Tickstar allows organisations such as Xero and its customers to connect to a global e-invoicing network. This enables faster and more secure transactions.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 index on Wednesday has been the Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) share price with a gain of almost 6%. This is despite there being no news out of the horticulture company. The worst performer has been the Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) share price with a 6.5% decline. This morning rival Australian Strategic Materials Limited (ASX: ASM) announced plans for a material capital raising.

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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 COSTA GRP FPO and Premier Investments Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. 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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