Shares open at 20-month high: Midday roundup

The Australian share market has opened at a 20-month high this morning, following strong leads from offshore with good economic data from China and the United States.

 

The benchmark S&P/SAX200 index was up 18.5 points or 0.4% to 4,828.7 at 12.00 AEST. In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46 points or 0.3% to 13,825.3.

Strong shares this morning have included Linc Energy, up 10%, while Speciality Fashion shares have surged 35% after the business revealed stronger earnings guidance for the first half of the financial year.

Microsoft beats market forecasts

Microsoft has announced record revenue for its past quarter, although profit has fallen 3.7% from the previous corresponding period to $US6.38 billion.

Revenue rose by 2.7% to $US21.46 billion, a new record for the company.

Much of the increase in revenue came from pre-sales and upgrades of Windows 8, the company said, along with improvements in business software.

“Our big, bold ambition to re-imagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers,” chief executive Steve Ballmer said.

“With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.”

The result comes just a day after Apple announced its own earnings, which sent shares diving 12% despite beating the company’s own expectations and records.

Shares in Karoon Gas surge

Shares in Karoon Gas Australia have surged 14% this morning after the company said it had discovered oil at an exploration site in Brazil.

“A gross oil column of 25 metres and an oil water contact has been established from pressure data interpretation,” the group said.

“A wireline program is underway and full results are expected in the coming days.”

 

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