ASX 200 hits another record, Sezzle flies, Wesfarmers falls

The ASX 200 hit another record earlier today on more gains.

| More on:
bull market encapsulated by bull running up a rising stock market price

Image source: Getty Images

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) hit another record today, it ended the day 0.6% higher to 7,260 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)

The diversified ASX 200 business held an investor day and outlined its various business strategies as well as giving an insight into how trading is going in a presentation.

Wesfarmers’ share price dropped over 2% seemingly in response to what the company said regarding trading conditions.

The company said that its retail businesses are now beginning to cycle against the impacts of COVID-19 in the prior year from mid-March, leading to significant volatility in monthly sales growth results.

On a two-year basis, all of the retail businesses have continued to achieve strong sales growth, according to Wesfarmers. Management said this reflected the company’s ability to provide safe and trusted environments while delivering greater value, quality and convenience for customers.

Customer demand has remained resilient, but year on year growth has “generally moderated” and some businesses have seen sales decline in some months due to the strong sales a year ago.

Online sales growth has also slowed as customers return to stores. The online percentage of sales has reduced compared to total sales, but remains above pre-COVID levels.

However, one positive from the ASX 200 share was that the industrial businesses are seeing “good operating performances and pleasing trading”.

Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL)

The Sezzle share price jumped more than 22% after announcing it had entered into a three-year agreement with Target Corporation (the US-listed business).

Sezzle has concluded its proof of concept with Target. Under the agreement, Sezzle’s product will be used in-store and across Target’s digital platforms, providing guests access to interest-free payment plans.

Target is one of the biggest retailers in North America with close to 2,000 stores in the US.

Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB)

The Mesoblast share price fell around 3% after giving an update about its performance in the quarter ending 31 March 2021.

Mesoblast CEO Silviu Itescu said:

We are pleased with the recent clinical outcomes regarding our lead product candidate remestemcel-L and continue to progress our regulatory discussions with the aim of achieving approval. Our focus and top priority remains on successfully bringing remestemcel-L to children with the devastating complication of steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease and adults fighting COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Looking at the financial highlights, TEMCELL royalties for the quarter were US$1.9 million.

It also successfully completed a US$110 million placement, ending the period with a cash balance of US$158.3 million. The private placement was led by US investor SurgCenter Development, one of the largest private operators of ambulatory surgical centres in the US specializing in spine, orthopaedic and total joint replacement.

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 May 24th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Sezzle Inc. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sezzle Inc. 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