• Qantas ahead after losing $1.9bn
  • The benchmark cruises to a happy Friday end
  • China’s quest for All The Iron set to continue, despite looming tensions

What a day to be alive – or awake… either is fine – because it’s been an almost entirely pleasant day for Our Aussie Markets, as the benchmark chugs into the Closing Bell terminal like The Little Engine That Could with a juicy +1.0% load parked firmly in its caboose.

Stand-out sector performer today was Consumer Staples, which – let’s be honest – was due for a win after enduring a shocker of a week that saw it shed 6.5% since Monday, making today’s +1.5% lift look pretty sweet indeed.

Telcos were the only real market drags today, with the sector texting in early to let the boss know it wasn’t feeling so good, before sputtering out a -0.2% performance that really let the team down.

In Large Caps it was Big Cheese on the menu, as the market went gaga over Bega Cheese’s (ASX:BGA) full year and news it ‘s broken through the sentiment-boosting $3bn revenue mark.

Weirdly, though, as the company was raking in all that sweet, sweet cheddar, profits have slumped, with an EBITDA of $149.9 million and $24.2 million statutory profit after tax, down 69% on last year.

COVID it turns out is also a profit killer, as it was for a lot of the big names, dragging at least $40 million out of the BGA till over the past 12 months. But investors were still impressed, and Bega closed out the day a lucky 13% higher.

Also flying high was Qantas (ASX:QAN), despite looking more like a bundle of horrendous mistakes than an airline at present.

Despite losing a staggering $1.9 billion this year, while the workforce was massively reduced and those that were on deck seemed hell-bent on making sure everyone’s luggage ended up in Bogota, QAN put on a tidy 6.1%.

Big Ticket Slump of the Day belongs to Macquarie Telecom (ASX:MAQ), down 12.1% after apparently losing the number for the guy whose job it is to make money.

MacTel posted a budget-busting 32.4% profit slump from 2021’s $12.5 million, and it’s safe to say that turned out to be a deeply unpopular move.

And some great news for Aussie iron enthusiasts, though – the unquenchable Chinese lust for Aussie iron is set to continue, according to Elizabeth Gaines, outgoing head of Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG).

Gaines says she’s unconcerned  that ongoing tensions in the region could have a cooling effect on the $130 billion export industry to China.

Some sleuthing by Top Minds in the Stockhead newsroom has uncovered evidence of why Gaines might well be correct, given the propensity for China to build enormous quantities of massive buildings, getting them almost to completion just before blowing them all up again.

It looks like loads of fun, but there’s a lot of Very Expensive Stuff going up in smoke there – great news for our iron ore producers, but terrible news for anyone silly enough to have bought their brand new apartment off the plans.



Looking wider, Asian markets ended with a mixed day – The Nikkei in Japan and Hong Kong’s Hang Send climbed +0.52% and +0.68% respectively, while Shanghai gave up tremulous morning gains to finish flatter than a Day 5 wicket at Lords.

In the US, GDP contracted less than forecast in the June quarter, down by 0.6% vs 0.7% – which is lovely for them in a “you did your best, champ, and there’s nothing wrong with coming 6th” kinda way.

There is still no official recognition that the US is in recession, begging the obvious question: “How many times in a row does the US economy need to shrink twice in a row before anyone notices the massive bear in the room?”

No doubt everyone who would be able to answer that is busy steeling themselves for the thrill ride of the year, as Jerome Powell gets set to give a speech in Wyoming later today.

Experts have warned local emergency services that it could get busy, as the moshpit at Powell’s speech is expected to be “large and potentially boisterous”.

Take care out there, kids.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
AJQ Armour Energy Ltd 0.007 27% 26,128,312 $12,421,479.82
MRL Mayur Resources Ltd 0.11 26% 56,499 $21,014,298.68
CML Chase Mining Limited 0.017 26% 19,199,958 $6,319,792.27
AHN Athena Resources 0.015 25% 9,968,418 $9,755,610.70
DM1 Desert Metals 0.275 25% 97,723 $10,558,199.96
ROG Red Sky Energy. 0.005 25% 528,481 $21,208,908.79
BRI Big Riv Indust Ltd 2.29 24% 65,436 $152,121,078.50
IEC Intra Energy Corp 0.011 22% 2,651,068 $5,452,034.27
ARE Argonaut Resources 0.002 20% 25,071,831 $6,031,467.56
FGL Frugl Group Limited 0.018 20% 1,410 $3,039,782.93
RGL Riversgold 0.042 20% 95,271,449 $26,989,755.87
EMP Emperor Energy Ltd 0.037 19% 9,714,673 $7,247,799.35
HAR Harangaresources 0.1775 18% 14,579 $6,272,103.00
DNA Donaco International 0.046 18% 100 $48,180,185.90
CGB Cann Global Limited 0.027 17% 1,742,522 $5,954,091.81
TER Terracom Ltd 1.15 17% 12,476,780 $781,894,568.98
AMM Armada Metals 0.15 15% 811,583 $6,500,000.00
REZ Resourc & En Grp Ltd 0.023 15% 1,672,630 $9,996,115.78
NNL Nordicnickellimited 0.31 15% 328,756 $15,769,800.90
RFR Rafaella Resources 0.031 15% 1,048,252 $7,582,243.92
3MF 3D Metalforge 0.016 14% 1,274,453 $2,022,129.98
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.016 14% 1,429,542 $7,803,976.77
SI6 SI6 Metals Limited 0.008 14% 738,916 $10,417,323.55
TMX Terrain Minerals 0.008 14% 200,000 $5,325,327.06
DOC Doctor Care Anywhere 0.12 14% 1,026,545 $23,858,111.55
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In the all-important knock-down, drag-em-out world of Small Caps Deathmatch Wrestling Arena, there are a couple of late (and somewhat inexplicable) contenders for the Middleweight and Above championship belt.

Mayur Resources (ASX:MRL) and Desert Minerals (ASX:DM1) have both made surprise post-lunch gains that have punched them into the Top 10 this afternoon, up 26.4% and 25.0% for no particular reason.

Heavyweight Champion contender  Big River Industries (ASX:BRI), leapt from the top turnbuckle to deliver an enormous YoY NPAT boost, up 191.0% over its FY21 result at $27.1m, which the crowd adored to the tune of +31.8% this morning.

However, that had eased by the end of the day as the surge gassed out towards the end of Round 5, clinching the title and the belt at +23.7% for the day.

The most spectacular move of the morning belongs to Pennyweight Division Champion Empire Energy (ASX:EEG), which has jumped 55% on absolutely no news (for real… not a scrap of a mention anywhere).

We suspect that someone’s had a lapse of reason, woken up thinking it’s Melbourne Cup Day and sparked a betting plunge on the first company they could find with a name that sounds like it belongs to a thoroughbred.

Sadly, in Small Caps Wrestling, if there’s a winner then there must be a loser, and today that is Andromeda Metals (ASX:ADN), which went for a risky suplex, only to have a wardrobe malfunction, popping a -31% Jatz cracker out the leg hole of its “wrestling onesie”.

Please note: We prefer the term “wrestling onesie” to the word “leotard” at Stockhead, because we believe that the latter marginalises lions with learning difficulties.]



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
JAV Javelin Minerals Ltd 0.001 -33% 2,464,211 $14,181,229.16
SIT Site Group Int Ltd 0.003 -25% 2,954,583 $4,204,980.51
ALM Alma Metals Ltd 0.009 -25% 48,461 $8,873,667.08
ADN Andromeda Metals Ltd 0.07 -25% 111,034,350 $289,230,784.18
WGX Westgold Resources. 0.9525 -18% 5,680,846 $551,770,480.45
PNV Polynovo Limited 1.655 -18% 4,167,544 $1,336,609,848.88
VAR Variscan Mines Ltd 0.037 -18% 5,656,049 $12,002,941.08
NGY Nuenergy Gas Ltd 0.025 -17% 240 $44,428,664.91
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.0025 -17% 184,458 $45,307,721.13
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.0025 -17% 4,097,282 $18,350,210.95
CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.005 -17% 1,000 $2,306,435.18
RIE Riedel Resources Ltd 0.005 -17% 2,000,000 $6,430,242.37
LVT Livetiles Limited 0.042 -16% 2,054,381 $46,151,065.30
CII CI Resources Limited 1.055 -16% 435 $144,476,383.75
BPH BPH Energy Ltd 0.028 -15% 23,429,619 $21,943,292.28
C1X Cosmosexploration 0.14 -15% 41,778 $4,125,000.00
CTO Citigold Corp Ltd 0.006 -14% 738,092 $19,835,613.64
GMN Gold Mountain Ltd 0.006 -14% 350,000 $8,352,044.19
AM7 Arcadia Minerals 0.285 -14% 1,265,889 $15,410,304.36
EPX Ept Global Limited 0.061 -13% 103,000 $12,731,726.21
ST1 Spirit Technology 0.061 -13% 2,910,264 $46,530,650.53
ARO Astro Resources NL 0.0035 -13% 50,000,000 $18,820,965.06
VKA Viking Mines Ltd 0.007 -13% 39,285 $8,202,067.45
WYX Western Yilgarn NL 0.14 -13% 385,161 $6,589,200.64
MAQ Macquarie Telecom Gp 63.79 -12% 54,787 $1,562,835,624.19
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The Australian Pacific Coal 3-act play we mentioned yesterday seems destined to become a drawn-out period epic as Australian Pacific Coal (ASX:AQC) continues to swat away suitors like a Bronte novel brat.

It all started when Trepang threw down the gauntlet and put in a bid to buy the whole AQC kit and kaboodle, before M Resources stepped up to proffer an offer it hopes will trump Trepang’s move.

M Resources said it’ll stump up the dough for 14.99% of shares in AQC at $0.36 per share for a total of $2.7 million against Trepang’s play for 19.97% of the shares in AQC at $0.30 per share for a total of $3.78 million.

Act 2 remains the same drawn-out settling of outstanding (but not excellent) AQC debts, but for a blistering Act 3, M Resources has dropped a mega-twist: an all cash consideration proposed price is $0.36 per share or approximately $18.2 million, eclipsing Trepang’s $0.30 per share offer.

Today, ACQ told the ASX that it’s simply all in a dither with M Resources and Trepang fighting over who will get its coal-covered hand in marriage – and until it’s had time to think it all through, we’re not allowed to go rummaging around with its shares.

Meanwhile, Private hospital provider Ramsay Healthcare (ASX:RHC) dropped a biggie on Friday afternoon that a consortium led by US investing giant had pulled out of its indicative proposal to acquire 100% of its shares by way of  scheme arrangement in an $88/share all cash offer.

The announcement came at 1.32pm (AEST) after RHC spent Friday morning in a trading halt and saw its share price fall more than 4%.

The announcement came on the same day as RHC reported its FY22 results, which saw the company missing its NPAT by ~15% reporting $274 million.

… Someone better call the nurse because the bleeding doesn’t look like it’s gonna stop on its own.



AD1 Holdings (ASX:AD1) – There’s an acquisition in the works… we’ll keep you posted

Eclipse Metals (ASX:EPM) – Capital Raise

Splitit Payments (ASX: SPT) – Capital Raise

Australian Pacific Coal (ASX: AQC) – The bidding war continues…

Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) – There’s a buyout offer on the table