18 October 2021
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Company show and tell

Peter Switzer
21 August 2009
The great reporting season continued with AMP coming out with a first half net profit of $362 million against an analysts tip of $341 million.

The AMP team called it solid and the share market agreed with the share price spiking 2.91 per cent to $6.02.

And this happened despite the second half dividend being shaved from 22 cents, this time last year, to 14 cents.

Sticking with icon insurers and what about QBE!

The country’s largest insurer revealed a 19 per cent jump in profit to $1.02 billion.

As a consequence the share price shot up 7 per cent to $22.06.

In face of this result one has to ask the question: How does a company do this when 80 per cent of its revenue is made overseas, and when the world has been in the grip of the GFC?

Buffet lessons

In simple terms I don’t know, but I know when I put QBE into my portfolio I was driven by the words of Warren Buffet:

  • First, invest in great brand names.
  • Second, invest in Australian industry.
  • Third, invest in great management.

And when it comes to great CEOs, QBE’s Frank O’Halloran, is easily one of the best.

Hardie story

This contrasts with the performance of the team at James Hardie, where the company’s management team and directors were fined and barred from managing corporations for a number of years.

This company is again looking for another country to call home but its decision to head to the Netherlands to dodge tax and its failure to look after the victims of asbestos indicates that something has been rotten in this company for some time. The new team needs to reinvest in their brand and going long in integrity might be a good idea. After that they could find the money to right their wrongs.

Rally on

Even this troubled company has had a nice rise in share price this week but the question remains, can this rally continue?

AMP’s Shane Oliver says yes, with some downs but that the ups will outlast the downs. And other close and smart market watchers agree.

The history of market buffs all remind us that the September-October period has not been a great ones for share prices and considering the big run up in shares since March, the pullback advocates have plenty of numbers.

However, there are a few outliers who believe the dip buyers are so numerous that most sell-offs won’t be too deep or very long.

The most intriguing outlier was one US finance business analyst who reckons the third quarter in the USA will bring GDP growth of — wait for it — six per cent plus.

This guy is looking at the big rise in auto production data which he says is very much like what happened in 1971 when GDP increased by — wait for it again — 11.9 per cent!

For advice you can trust, contact Switzer Financial Services

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

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