• The ASX closed out the day flat, thanks to a last-minute selling spree
  • Qantas announces record profit but still won’t give us back the money we gave them during Covid
  • Westar Resources won the Small Caps race, in spite of a 90-minute hobbling by the ASX


The major headline grabber for the day belongs to Qantas, after the national carrier announced that it is all set to achieve a record-breaking pre-tax profit of between $2.43 billion and $2.48 billion.

Yep – that’s the same company that taxpayers collectively handed $2.7 billion to during Covid, while the country’s health systems slowly crumpled under the weight of the pandemic.

What a stepping-off point that is for outgoing (he prefers the term gregarious) CEO Alan Joyce, masterminding what the ACTU has basically described as a systematic dismantling of job security and workers rights, at the expense of passengers, taxpayers and workers alike.

The expected profit is large enough that the board has decided to increase the already “does this smell a bit off to you?” on-market buyback from $500 million to $600 million, while steadfastly refusing to hand back the Australian public’s eye-wateringly massive blast of corporate welfare largesse.

In return, though, Qantas has done an excellent job of cancelling loads of flights, and having its baggage handlers load cargo directly into Botany Bay, saving a lot of time and money for the airline, which would otherwise have had to go to all the trouble and expense of flying people’s luggage to Tunisia, instead of Tasmania.

It’s an understatement to suggest that people are, and will continue to be, severely unhappy with the airline… but I bet you somewhere between $2.43 billion and $2.48 billion ol’ mate Joyce is still wondering why this happened to him.



I’m as baffled as you are, Alan. Probably for a different reason, though.



Anyway… the ASX did pretty well today, all things considered, getting as high as +0.3% before the now-familiar post-lunch slump kicked in and everybody basically lost interest.

Sector-wise, it was pretty evenly split and spread out for the day with a 6-up, 5-down result that saw Financials up top on +0.77%, and Consumer Discretionary down the bottom on -1.04%.

The Tale of Woe for the day was the inglorious fall from grace by InfoTech, which was miles out in front at lunchtime, only to sag like a set of pendulous pygmy breasts between 1:30pm and close.

Two recent Big Winners in the tech sector will need to shoulder their portion of the blame for that: Serko (ASX:SKO) gave back 8.4% of its recent gains over the course of the day for apparently no reason.

But the big loser was BrainChip (ASX:BRN), which quite sensationally revealed that it had earned itself a strike today, after shareholders gave the company’s remuneration report the Big Don’t Argue.

The news sent BrainChip’s trading price a-fallin’ hard, just days after breaching the $900m market cap milestone, down more than 17.6% in a single day to land at $720m, on a memeworthy $0.420 a share.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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The Small Caps winner of the Day is (once again) Westar Resources (ASX:WSR),  which managed to add 64%, in spite of having the ASX hobble the stock for nearly 90 minutes in the middle of the day with a speeding ticket.

When the Watch Dogs yanked on the “WTF is even happening?” handle, WSR had already soared 76%, and the trading pause obviously slowed things down a little.

But the Westar team was on the ball, responding in double-quick time to the speeding ticket it had to have seen coming from a mile away, but the hot streak was over by the time it was reinstated, leaving the company sitting on a still happy (but might have been happier…) 64% gain for the day.

In second-worth-mentioning news, Sultan Resources (ASX:SLZ) appears to have attracted what looks like semi-unwarranted attention from somewhere, after a massive spike in interest on no news saw the company snag a 23.4% gain.

That might be down to thousands of people all fat-fingering attempts to get in behind Sezzle’s (ASX:SZL) $0.63, but now that I see that theory written down, let me preempt you all by calling it rampant lunacy.

And finally, RTG Mining (ASX:RTG), has added a solid 22% today on the back of an after-hours announcement to the market that landed right in the middle of dinner time.

The announcement says that RTG has reached a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding issues with the Villar Family-controlled Sage Capital and TVI Resource Development (TVIRD), and a binding Memorandum of Agreement signed.

Under the deal, “all litigation that RTG had launched will be withdrawn as part of an agreed restructuring of the Mabilo Project”, and execution of the agreement is expected to take place in the next month or so.

The key terms of the agreement include RTG (through SRM Gold Limited) retaining a 40% interest in Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation (“Mt. Labo”) with the project also developed by Mt. Labo, in line with Philippine regulatory requirements, with Sage Capital (which is owned by TVIRD) holding the remaining 60%.

RTG will have a 2% net smelter royalty (NSR), and RTG’s debt together with interest, currently in the order of US$27m (subject to audit) will be repaid out of the proceeds of Stage 1, the direct shipping portion of the project.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Bio-materials company Nanollose (ASX:NC6) has revealed to the market that it’s had a little visit from the ATO’s equivalent of Santa Claus, and is set to pocket a hefty $374,063 R&D Tax Incentive Rebate from the Australian Government.

That is not a small quantity of funds, and it’s arriving at a pivotal time for Nanollose, as the company gears up to advance a third pilot spin for its Nullarbor fibres, in collaboration with Birla Cellulose – a business unit of Grasim Industries, a division of multinational Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group.

Meanwhile, the team at moomoo – the AI-powered Australian trading app – is “excited to announce the introduction of 24-hour US trading”, opening up trading opportunities on stuff like Tesla and Disney and all those other hugely exciting Big Names of Wall Street.

“With the introduction of 24/5 US trading, moomoo users now have access to trading hours that cover the entire day, from 10am Monday to 10am Saturday (AEST),” the company says.

“This means that investors in Australia will be able to trade a list of 165 US stocks and ETFs during Australian daytime hours, as well as night”, just in case you feel like making what are genuinely important financial decisions on those nights when you’re unable to sleep properly.

I jest, of course… because the company does make it clear that its aim is to “provide more flexibility for investors and allow them to take advantage of market-moving events that occur outside of Australian trading hours”, which is nice.



Vertex Minerals (ASX:VTX) – Capital raising.

Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) – Placement of the shortfall from Venture’s recent share purchase plan.

Trek Metals (ASX:TKM) – Capital raising.

Moho Resources (ASX:MOH) – MOH is having a capital raise… How hard could it be? (Just a little joke for all you geologists out there…).