ASX 200 recovers strongly, Austal floats higher, Fortescue drops

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) went up 1.7% today, recovering some of last week’s lost ground. The Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) share price rose.
The post ASX 200 recovers strongly, Austal floats higher, Fortescue drops appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by 1.75% today to 6,790 points.

Australian blue chip shares recovered a lot of the ground lost on Friday after the selloff.

Here are some of the highlights from today:

Austal Ltd (ASX: ASB)

After taking a bit of a pounding last week, the Austal share price roared higher today by 8.4% after announcing a contract win.

It announced that Austal USA has been awarded a US$235 million contract by the US Navy for the detailed design and construction of the 15th expeditionary fast transport (EPF) vessel.

Austal USA has delivered twelve EPFs to the US Navy since 2012 on schedule and under budget, from the company’s Alabama shipyard.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the new contract was a clear demonstration of confidence by the US Navy in the versatile EPF platform, designed by Austal Australia and manufactured by Austal USA. Mr Gregg said:

The EPF has become a real success story, delivering a fast, flexible and versatile capability to the US Navy. The EPF has made a real difference to military operations and other humanitarian and disaster relief missions over many years now, and this additional vessel contract reflects the continuing confidence in the unique high-speed platform.

This latest EPF will expand the medical facilities on-board, further enhancing the proven operational capabilities of the ship, which has been used for various medical missions in the Pacific, South East Asia and Western Africa.

Austal also announced that Austal Philippines has delivered Hull 419, a 109 metre high-speed catamaran ferry to Fjord Line of Norway.

It was the best performer in the ASX 200.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG)

The Fortescue share price ended the day lower after going ex-dividend to pay its large interim dividend to shareholders.

According to the ASX, it ended the day lower by almost 6%.

Fortescue decided to pay a dividend of $1.47 per share to investors, which wasn’t too far off twice the size of last year’s interim dividend for investors.

Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP)

Although it’s still in a trading halt, Freedom Foods announced its FY21 half-year result today.

It said that continuing operations revenue was up 15% to $291.4 million. Continuing operations adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 182% to $21.7 million.

Continuing operations net profit after tax (NPAT) grew by 70% to a loss of $15.2 million.

The company also reported that it generated positive cash flow from operations before financing costs and non-recurring adjustments of $4.4 million, which was $30.5 million higher than the prior corresponding period.

The divestment of the cereals and snacks business is on target for completion in March 2021. Progress continues to be made on its recapitalisation plan, with lenders and the majority shareholder so far giving their preliminary support.

Shares will remain in voluntary suspension until release of the full details, which is anticipated to be in the middle of March.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australi Ltd (ASX: GMA)

Genworth announced that Genworth Financial has entered into an underwriting agreement (sale agreement) in relation to the sale of all of GFI’s shares in the company (around 52% of the issued shares).

After the sale is completed, GFI will no longer own any shares of the company.

The Genworth share price fell 6.2% today. 

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Austal Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Freedom Foods Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post ASX 200 recovers strongly, Austal floats higher, Fortescue drops appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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