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Published on: Friday, February 17, 2017

  • Health insurer Medibank Private posted a 1.9% lift in half-year profit to $231.9 million. Health insurance premium revenue rose 1.2% to $3.12 billion in the six months to December 31. Operating profit fell 8.2% on the prior corresponding period to $249.4 million, “reflecting increased investment in customer initiatives, new IT system amortisation and moderately higher growth in utilisation rates”. The company announced an interim dividend of 5.25 cents per share, fully franked. 
  • ANZ posted a net profit of $1.6 billion for the three months to 31 December 2016, up 8%. Cash profit was up 31% to $2 billion, benefiting from “a good performance in Australia and New Zealand Retail and in Institutional, along with a lower provision charge and the sale of 100 Queen Street.”  The company says it expects its full-year charge for bad and doubtful debts to be lower than previously suggested. 
  • Baby Bunting posted a pro-forma half-year profit of $5.7 million, up 22.5% on the prior corresponding period. Sales rose 18% to $135.1 million for the half-year ended January 1 (compared to the previous 27-week corresponding period). “Comparable store sales growth was 8.2%. This is in line with our expectations, as we had anticipated that comparable stores sales growth would moderate to be more in line with the long-term historical average – being mid-single digit growth,” said CEO and MD, Matt Spencer. The company declared an interim dividend of 2.9 cents per share, fully franked. 
  • The Dow Jones took out its sixth straight record close on the back of signs of an improving economy, and promises for tax cuts and less financial regulations by US President Donald Trump. The Dow Jones ended 0.04% higher to close at 20,619.77. The S&P 500 lost 0.01% to 2347.22, while the Nasdaq lost 0.01% to close at 5814.90.
  • At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the share price futures index was down three points at 5,761.

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