ASX 200 dips, NIB soars, Perenti rises

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) dipped lower today. However, the NIB Holdings Ltd (ASX:NHF) share price soared after giving profit guidance.

| More on:
white arrow dropping down

Image source: Getty Images

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell by 0.2% today to 7,046 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF)

The NIB share price went up by around 10% today in response to profit guidance for the rest of FY21.

NIB explained that the COVID-19 pandemic impact on market demand and healthcare treatment were profound and are continuing. However, management said that it’s apparent that the core NIB Australian resident health insurance (ARHI) business is performing well.

At 31 March 2021, total ARHI policyholders had grown to 641,804. Claims experience, especially risk equalisation, continues to be lower than expected.

NIB’s group underlying operating profit (UOP) for the nine months to 31 March 2021 was $140.9 million. The provision for deferred and suspended claims during the pandemic for ARHI was $59 million, compared to $70.7 million for the first half of FY21.

Management said that the extent of the ‘catch up’ in the third quarter in healthcare treatment deferred during the COVID-19 lockdown period appears to be slower than what had been assumed at 31 December 2020.

The “strong” ARHI performance is more than offsetting the COVID-affected international inbound health insurance and travel insurance businesses.

NIB has decided to increase its investment in marketing, growth projects and business transformation because of the ARHI performance.

The ASX 200 health insurance business is now expecting to make UOP of between $200 million to 4225 million for this financial year.

Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN)

The Perenti share price went up by more than 3% today after it said that its subsidiary, the hard-rock underground miner Barminco has received a letter of intent from Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) for the development of an underground exploration decline at the Red Chris Project in Canada.

The Red Christ Project is a 70-30 joint venture partnership between Newcrest and Imperial Metals Corporation.

It’s within Tahlton Territory, home to some of Canada’s richest mineral resources in an area known as the Golden Triangle. Barminco has developed a strong relationship with the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and intends to establish the foundations for an ongoing partnership to create social and economic value for the members of the Tahlton Nation and the region.

Newcrest’s letter of intent is for a scope of works that includes mobilisation and site establishment activities and development of a 3.5km underground exploration decline.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

The Westpac share price fell 0.2% today after announcing a total $282 million profit hit for its upcoming interim result.

The ASX 200 bank outlined various items that totalled $282 million, some of which were already known.

There were a few items that were above $100 million in size. On the negative side, there was $220 million for additional provisions for customer refunds, payments, associated costs and litigation provisions. There was also $115 million for write-down and of capitalised software and other intangibles as well as $113 million of an accounting loss on the sale of Westpac Pacific, along with transaction costs and payments associated with divestments.

However, these losses were offset by the $288 million positive revaluation of its investment in Coinbase and a $18 million gain on the sale of its Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) shares.

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

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended NIB Holdings Limited. 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