Updates from Glencore, Persimmon and Apple
Filed under: Investing
Asian markets flatlined today, more or less. The Nikkei climbed +0.12% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped -0.56%.
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We start with Glencore and a commodities price hit: adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) sinks 17% from to $3,199m for the first half of the year up to 30 June.
But Glencore revenues climb 17% from $92,120m to $107,957m. It also has hiked its interim dividend by 8% to $5.4 per share. A busy year with the Xstrata merger, plus the recent grain handler Viterra acquisition.
"The acquisition of Viterra," Glencore's chief exec, Ivan Glasenberg, "will transform our already strong agricultural business at a time when industry fundamentals are the most positive they have been for some time."
Next, house builder Persimmon says underlying pretax profits climbed 65% to £98.7m for the first half of 2012. Operating margin climbs 320bps to 12.2% (2011: 9.0%) and underlying basic earnings per share soared 66% to 25.7p (2011: 15.5p).
Net assets per share climbs 4% to 625.7p (2011: 601.1p) Persimmon claims it is on track to make its first dividend payment of 75p per share in June 2013.
"These results reflect the early success of Persimmon's new strategy to grow into a stronger, larger business whilst returning £1.9bn of surplus cash to shareholders," says Nicholas Wrigley, Persimmon chairman.
Lastly, iPad and iPhone maker Apple has officially become the most valuable company in the world. Yesterday Apple shares surged past $664 taking its market capitalisation past the $619bn (£394bn) point.
A comeback for Apple given its July sales wobble. Apple's share price bump has been part-propelled by hopes of a new iPad in September, plus the new iPhone 5, not to mention new energy directed at the TV market.
Microsoft though still clings to the title of history's most valuable company were its 1999 $621 billion value adjusted for inflation.