ASX 200 rises, Fortescue up, Airtasker climbs

The ASX 200 rose today, with Fortescue’s quarterly update capturing headlines.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by 0.5% today to 7,417 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

The Fortescue share price went up almost 2% today after revealing its update for the three months to 30 June 2021.

Fortescue said that for the quarter, it saw record iron ore shipments of 49.3 mt, and 182.2 mt for FY21. The annual shipments beat the guidance of 182 mt.

The ASX 200 miner achieved record revenue of US$168 per dry metric tonne (dmt) for the quarter and US$135 per dmt for FY21.

Its C1 cost for the fourth quarter was US$15.23 per wet metric tonne (wmt) – up 2% for the previous quarter – and the C1 cost for FY21 was US$13.93 per wmt. This was in line with guidance.

Fortescue said that strong free cashflow generation contributed to net cash of US$2.7 billion at 30 June 2021, compared to net debt of US$1 billion at 31 March 2021.

Total capital expenditure for FY21 was US$3.6 billion, with first production achieved at Eliwana and continued development of the Iron Bridge and Pilbara Energy Connect (PEC) projects.

It also pointed to the progress of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). Fortescue said the FFI stretch targets were achieved to support Fortescue’s pathway to decarbonisation.

FY22 guidance from the ASX 200 share is for iron ore shipments to be between 180mt to 185mt. The C1 cost is expected to be between US$15 per wmt to US$15.50 per wmt.

Airtasker Ltd (ASX: ART)

The Airtasker share price went up around 6% today after providing a quarterly update that showed it had beaten its FY21 guidance.

Airtasker said that continuing strong marketplace performance in the fourth quarter produced positive operating cashflow of $763,000.

That led to positive FY21 operating cashflow (excluding IPO costs) of $7.4 million, with statutory operating cashflow of $5.5 million, compared to the prospectus forecast of $0.1 million.

The FY21 gross merchandise volume (GMV) was $153.1 million, exceeding the prospectus forecast of $143.7 million.

The company had 415,000 unique paying customers in FY21, exceeding the prospectus forecast of 405,000.

Regarding FY22, it said that the business had accelerated ahead of expectations after the IPO and into lockdowns. But those lockdowns are impacting the start of the first quarter, with weekly GMV down 12% compared to pre-lockdown.

However, management are expecting a “strong” bounce back once restrictions are lifted.

The business said it had $45.9 million of cash at the year end to pursue significant growth.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

The ASX 200 investment bank released its quarterly update to investors for the first three months of FY22.

It said it has seen improved trading conditions with the profit contribution from its operating segments up significantly on the prior corresponding period, where it had mixed trading conditions.

Macquarie said its annuity-style businesses (Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) and the banking and financial services division (BFS) saw a slight profit increase. But the market-facing businesses of commodities and global markets (CGM) and Macquarie Capital were up significantly.

It said that its financial position continues to comfortably exceed APRA’s regulatory requirements.

Finally, in order for the bank to have additional flexibility to support business growth, the board has altered its annual dividend payout policy range to 50% to 70%.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Fortescue Metals Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Airtasker Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group 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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