• MACA generates a big lift in profit and strong guidance for 2023, but which of its suitors will reap the rewards?
  • GR Engineering lifts on strong 2022 results
  • Whitehaven Coal hits new record high ahead of Thursday’s results


If MACA (ASX:MLD) is indeed talking to NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) to get the WA contractor to lift its bid in a quietly brewing war between it and foreign owned mining services giant Thiess, MACA is keeping his lips tightly shut about it.

The WA based mining, civil and infrastructure services provider delivered a 41% increase in revenue to $1.65 billion for FY22 and ~2.5x times lift in earnings per share to 12.5c, driven heavily by its acquisition of Downer’s Mining West business.

But it deferred a decision on paying a dividend as the takeover fight between Thiess and NRW gets tastier.

MACA’s board accepted a $350 million all share offer at $1.025/sh from Thiess in July, before it was revealed that NRW had waved a rejected $1.085/sh cash and scrip offer under MACA’s nose.

Speaking to analysts, investors and reporters after the results were released today, MACA CFO Peter Gilford said the company was unable to comment on whether it was still in communication with NRW after the shark’s boss Jules Pemberton expressed his disappointment about a lack of engagement in a statement on Thursday.

“We would be willing to have further discussions but certainly the way that it was put forward was not able to be accepted by MACA shareholders, so we can’t really say anything more at this point,” he said.

MACA, which delivered a 39% rise in EBITDA in FY22 to $189.2m and 121% rise in NPAT to $35.8m, expects to deliver revenue of $1.45-1.5b in FY23, with ~$1.3b secured to date.

Who gets to enjoy those spoils, and how badly inflation cuts into it, remains to be seen.


GR rises on revenue beat

One of our outperforming mining services stocks for 2022 to date, GR Engineering (ASX:GNG) was up 2.6% today after a positive financial results release, generating $55.8m in EBITDA and a record of $651.7m in revenue, with profit before tax of $50.3m.

The process plant design and construction expert will pay a fully franked 10c per share final dividend out of a healthy cash balance of $102m, taking its total payout for FY22 to 19c, up from 12c last year.

That came despite rising pressures from cost inflation and a deteriorating economic environment.

GR is working on a host of major gold, battery metals and mineral sands projects, including Northern Star’s Thunderbox plant expansion, Pantoro/Tulla’s Norseman gold project and the Bellevue Gold Mine near Leinster.

“The FY22 year was an excellent year that was characterised by solid operational performance in challenging conditions given the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was pleasing given the strong performance in the prior year,” MD Geoff Jones said.

“GR Engineering successfully and safely achieved multiple project completions during the year and it is satisfying that these projects have further enhanced GR Engineering’s reputation for reliability and dependability. GR Engineering continues to progress work on its contracted pipeline of work with completions scheduled in FY23 and FY24.”


GR Engineering (ASX:GNG) share price today:



Coal miners hit new highs as market stays mild

There could be some commodity action overnight after Chinese authorities moved to provide more relief for debtors, lowering its one year and five year loan rates slightly by 5 and 15 basis points.

It follows worrying economic data last week including a big pullback in credit growth amid the country’s property market woes.

Singapore iron ore futures rose 1.66% to US$102.50/t with Dalian iron ore futures lifting over the course of the afternoon to a 1.68% gain.

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) continued its strong run, rising 2.85% to another record close at $7.57 a share with Yancoal (ASX:YAL) and lithium miners Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), Allkem (ASX:AKE) and MinRes (ASX:MIN) also among the winners.

But its was a tough day for resources and energy stocks generally, with the materials and energy sectors losing 0.9% and 0.87% respectively.