• ASX gained ground as the S&P 500 reached record highs
  • AI mania continues as Arm Ltd surges 20pc after hours
  • AGL Energy jumps on huge H1, News Corp surprises


The ASX 200 gained +0.3% on Thursday, tracking its counterparts in New York.

Overnight, the S&P 500 hit a new record high as AI-related tech stocks climbed.

Investors are hoping for a blowout quarter from Nvidia after Goldman Sachs increased its price target to US$800 versus the current US$700.

Meanwhile, shares of Arm Ltd on Nasdaq rocketed by 20% in extended trading a few hours ago after the chip company guided the market to quarterly sales and profit above Wall Street expectations.

Closer to home, investors are growing more concerned about the prospects of China after the country’s consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.8% year on year in January, according to an official release today. The deflationary print was the steepest since September 2009.

“A multitude of indicators are now flashing red, signalling a perilous period ahead for China’s economy and financial markets,” Eswar Prasad, professor of economics at Cornell University told the FT.

On the ASX today, Tech and Utilities led the gainers, while Energy was the worst performing sector despite a big rally from AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) – see more below.



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AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) surged 11% after reporting underlying NPAT for the half of $399 million, up 359% on the pcp. Interim dividend of 26 cents per share (unfranked) was declared. Guidance range for FY24 underlying net profit is between $680 and $780 million (previously between $580 and $780 million).

News Corporation (ASX:NWS) was up 7% after reporting Q2 revenues of $2.59 billion, a 3% increase on the pcp, driven by growth in its Digital Real Estate Services, Dow Jones and Book Publishing segments. Q2 Total Segment EBITDA was $473 million, compared to $409 million in the prior year.

Cochlear (ASX:COH) has upgraded its FY24 earnings guidance. The company said that following the better than expected first half revenue for Cochlear implants, underlying net profit for FY24 is now expected to be $385-400 million, a 26-31% increase on FY23. The upgrade is 8% above the midpoint of the prior guidance of $355-375 million advised in August last year.

Telix Pharma (ASX:TLX) has entered into an agreement to acquire QSAM Biosciences and its lead investigational drug, Samarium-153-DOTMP (153Sm-DOTMP). QSAM is a US based company developing therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals for primary and metastatic bone cancer. The purchase price comprises US$33.1 million ($50.8 million) upfront, which is payable in the form of Telix shares.

REA Group (ASX:REA) reported H1 revenue of $726m, up 18% on the pcp. Net profit for the half was $250m, up 22% on pcp. Interim dividend to be paid is $0.87 per share fully franked, up 16% on pcp.

Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) rose despite reporting statutory loss for the half of -$201m, down from a profit of $215m in the pcp. The company cited impact of capitalisation rate expansion on office and industrial portfolios, and lower income from the investment portfolio due to non-core asset sales as the main contributors for the loss.



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Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) said for the half, Average Daily Traffic (ADT) were 2.5 million trips, up 2.1% on the pcp. EBITDA was $1.331 billion, supported by proportional toll revenue increase of 6.3% to $1.763 billion, and lower cost growth. TCL says it has a strong balance sheet with ~$3.4 billion in corporate liquidity.

New Hope (ASX:NHC) says it has committed to take up to $105 million of a minimum $160 million institutional placement equity raising launched by Malabar Resources. The company’s commitment to the Malabar Equity Raise will be funded from existing cash. Malabar Resources is an unlisted Hunter Valley based resources company.