Datatec added 2.15% on Wednesday to settle at R56.50 per share, buoyed by its announcement of a special dividend. On the 13th of November 2017, the board announced its intention to declare a special dividend of $350mn, or around R5bn, pursuant to the sale of Westcon Americas. Following this, the board has now decided to declare a special dividend of R23 per share to ordinary shareholders. Furthermore, shareholders will also have the option to receive the dividend in the form of a scrip distribution of fully-paid ordinary shares. If shareholders elect to receive shares instead of cash, the board will use the full undistributed cash amount to undertake a general buyback of shares.
During the previous session, Bell Equipment added 1.48% to settle at R13.70 per share after the group issued a trading statement for the year ending 31 December 2017. In it, Bell advised shareholders it currently expects both earnings per share and headline earnings per share to be at least 150 cents. This is much higher than the 39 cents recorded in the previous corresponding period. The uptick is mainly due to an increase in demand in the markets that the group operates in, certain once-off recoveries in 2017 and a recovery in the group’s subsidiary in the DRC. Bell will issue a further trading statement before the release of its results on or around the 16th of March 2018.
Sirius Real Estate release its results for the six months on Monday. The group, whose shares are traded in London and the Johannesburg, declared an interim dividend of 1.56 euro cents. This was 12.2% higher than the 1.39 euro cent dividend declared in the previous corresponding period. Meanwhile, the book value of the portfolio, including assets held for sale, stood at €857.4mn at the end of the period, up from €823.3mn as at the 31st of March 2017. Sirius Real Estate’s adjusted net asset value per share increased by 7.8% to 63.40 euro cents, compared to the 58.82 euro cents recorded six months ago.
Chemical company, Linde has received approval from 90% of its shareholders for the planned $80bn merger with US-based Praxair. Praxair added 0.76%, or $1.16, to close at $152.88 per share, while German-based Linde gained 0.46% as it moved to settle at €191.00 per share. However, it must be noted that despite the approval, the deal is still subject to a number of regulatory approvals. If the merger completes, the newly formed group will be the new global leader in industrial gases with revenues of $28.7bn and around 88,000 staff.
Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Broadcom is considering increasing its offer for Qualcomm. As it stands, Broadcom’s offer is valued at $103bn, excluding debt, and consists of $60 in cash and $10 worth of Broadcom shares for each Qualcomm share owned. According to reports from Qualcomm’s shareholders, the group requires at least $80 per share from Broadcom to sell their shares. In return, Broadcom has now indicated it may sweeten its offer by including more of its own stock. Qualcomm’s shares increased by 2.19% by the close, helped along by the possibility of a sweetened offer, while Broadcom shed 0.44% to settle at $275.37 per share.
Deere added 4.32% on Wednesday to close at $145.25 per share, buoyed by the release of better-than-expected results. Total sales for the fourth quarter came in at $7.09bn, 25.5% higher than reported a year ago and surpassing estimates of an increase to $6.99bn. As it stands, Deere generates around 70% of its total sales from agricultural equipment and about 60% of sales from the North American farm equipment market. Overall, net income attributable to the group increased by 79% to $510.3mn. On a per share basis, this equates to earnings of $1.57 per share, easily beating forecasts of $1.47 per share. This marked the 5th straight quarter Deere has surpassed analysts’ estimates.
HP traded sharply lower in after-hours trade after releasing its latest quarterly results. During the fourth quarter, revenues increased by 11% to $13.9bn, surpassing expectations of $13.4bn. This uptick was mainly attributable to the introduction of new products as well as the expansion of its 3D printer offerings. Overall, net income came in at $660mn, or 39 cents per share, up from $492mn, or 28 cents per share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings met analysts’ estimates of 44 cents per share. Looking forward, HP expects its first quarter adjusted earnings per share to come in at between 40 cents and 43 cents, matching forecasts of 42 cents.
Barloworld added 0.61% to close at R133 per share on Monday after the group released results for the year ended 30 September 2017. Company revenue from continuing operations came in at R62bn, mostly unchanged from the prior period’s R62.1bn. Operating profit from continuing operations stood at R4.1bn, with operating margin at 6.6%. This performance comes amid tough trading conditions. Overall, headline earnings per share from continuing operations increased by 16% to 975 cents, up from 841 cents a year ago. The board declared a final dividend of 265 cents, taking the full-year dividend to 390 cents. The outlook statement reads well and it is expected returns will improve in 2018.
Cisco Systems traded sharply higher in after-hours trade yesterday, buoyed by the release of better-than-expected quarterly results. In it, the group confirmed that revenues had come in at $12.14bn, 1.7% lower than that reported a year ago but beating forecasts of a drop to $12.11bn. This was mainly attributed to a 3% decline in product revenue, despite this being somewhat offset by a 1% increase in service revenue. Overall, the group saw adjusted earnings come in at $0.61, marginally higher than analysts’ estimates of $0.60. Looking forward, Cisco expects earnings for the 2nd quarter to be between $0.58 and $0.60, in-line with expectations.
On Tuesday, Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIL) collapsed as much as 66.6% during the session, before reversing some of its losses to settle 57.23% lower and close at R3.40 per share. This comes after the group issued an updated trading statement in which it advised shareholders earnings per share and headline earnings per share are now expected to be at least 55% lower than those reported a year ago. However, at this stage, CIL does not have a reasonable degree certainty to provide a range or percentage decrease and will thus release a further trading statement once it does. Due to the board’s current investigation into its results, CIL has decided to postpone the release of its results. The group has confirmed they will be released no later than the 30th of November 2017.