Weekly | Materials & Iron Ore Price Rally Drove LTR and FMG Up

As of the close on Friday,$S&P/ASX 200(XJO.AU)$ closed at 7,251.20 points, up 2.13% in the past 5 days. During the last 5 trading days, $Liontown Resources Ltd(LTR.AU)$ was up 14.96%; $Credit Corp(CCP.AU)$ added 10.53%; $Xero(XRO.AU)$ rose 9.90%; $FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LTD(FMG.AU)$ was up 9.80%; $Pro Medicus Ltd(PME.AU)$ increased 9.64%. Six of 11 sectors rose with the most impressive rises recorded by materials and energy after iron ore futures rose 1.6% to US$103.70 a tonne and oil prices firmed 1.1% before this weekend’s OPEC+ meeting. 1. $Liontown Resources Ltd(LTR.AU)$ rose on lithium price rally and analysts’ upgrade Liontown Resources Limited engages in the exploration, evaluation, and development of mineral properties in Australia. Lithium battery prices rose in May for the first time this year, according to Benchmark, as Chinese lithium carbonate prices surged by 50%, driven by a recovery in the country’s electric vehicle market. EV battery supply chain restock a potential near-term catalyst for lithium prices. Lithium prices are starting to rebound from lows at the start of the year. As Citi’s analyst Cunningham expects lithium production will continue to lag fast-growing demand for electric vehicles, now is the time for investors to snap up lithium stocks. Bell Potter reckons the share price can go 11% higher to $3.35 over the next year. $Macquarie(MQG.AU)$ values the stock at an even $3, and Citi and UBS see value at $2.80. 2. $Credit Corp(CCP.AU)$ maintains good revenue and TSR growth Credit Corp Group Limited provides debt ledger purchase and collection, and consumer lending services in Australia and the United States. There is no price-sensitive news available. Credit Corp Group has experienced share price growth despite a decline in EPS over the past three years. This suggests that the market may be using other metrics to evaluate the company's performance. One possible explanation for the solid share price performance is the company's revenue growth of 13% per year. This growth could be viewed as evidence of Credit Corp Group's ability to expand its operations. It is possible that the company is prioritizing growth over current earnings, and investors may have faith in the company's potential for future success. In addition to considering share price return, it is important to look at the total shareholder return (TSR), which takes into account the value of cash dividends and any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. In the case of Credit Corp Group, the TSR for the last three years was 18%, exceeding the share price return mentioned earlier. This indicates that the company's dividend payments have contributed significantly to the overall return for shareholders. 3. $Xero(XRO.AU)$ share price jumps on raising pricing news Xero is a provider of cloud accounting services, with a significant presence in Australia and New Zealand. Xero Limited experienced a share price increase of over 2% following the announcement of price increases for its subscribers. Starting from September 13, 2023, Xero will be raising its prices for subscribers in both Australia and New Zealand. The specific price changes vary based on the subscription tier. In New Zealand, starter subscribers will face a 6.4% increase, standard users will see a 7.6% rise, and premium users will experience an 11.9% price increase. In Australia, starter users will have a 10.3% increase, standard users will face a 10.2% rise, and 'premium 5' subscribers will see an 11.8% hike. Investors responded positively to the announcement. In its FY23 results, Xero reported growth in average revenue per user (ARPU) by 10%, contributing to a 28% increase in operating revenue to NZ$1.4 billion. The company's retention rate remained above 99%, indicating that the previous price increase did not significantly impact subscriber churn. With higher subscription prices driving revenue growth, if Xero can outpace its costs, its profit margins are expected to improve. 4. $FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LTD(FMG.AU)$ rose on rising iron ore prices Fortescue Metals Group Limited engages in the exploration, development, production, processing, and sale of iron ore. There are several factors contributing to Fortescue's strong performance in the month of June. 1) Rise in iron ore price The surge in the iron ore price, which has risen 16.5% since the start of the month, is likely a significant driver of Fortescue's share price increase. As a major iron ore producer, Fortescue stands to benefit from higher iron ore prices as it translates into increased revenue and profitability. 2) Increased iron ore imports to China Import data from China, released in early June, showed a 6.34% month-on-month and 3.95% year-on-year increase in iron ore imports. Despite narrowing steel mill profitability, declining port inventories and improved steel mill utilization rates have encouraged more shipments. This suggests a strong demand for iron ore, which is positive for Fortescue as a major supplier. 3) Appointment of a new chief financial officer Fortescue's announcement of hiring Christine Morris as the new chief financial officer could have also positively influenced investor sentiment. Her appointment may be seen as a positive move for the company's growth and development, instilling confidence among shareholders. 5. $Pro Medicus Ltd(PME.AU)$ rose as $UnitedHealth(UNH)$ warns of rising costs Pro Medicus Limited engages in the development and supply of healthcare imaging software and services to hospitals, diagnostic imaging groups, and other related health entities. $UnitedHealth(UNH)$ announced its costs were increasing as a result of a rise in surgeries among older adults. As a result, health insurer stocks generally fell while health supply chain stocks rose on the news.
Weekly | Materials & Iron Ore Price Rally Drove LTR and FMG Up

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