Cochlear shares drop despite massive profit increase: Midday roundup

Shares in Cochlear have dropped 3.6% this morning to $77.51 despite the company reporting a massive profit increase.

The company confirmed in the six months to December 31, net profit increased to $77.665 million.

In a statement, the company said it remains confident that long-term growth will be supported in the second half of the year.

“These include excellent technology partnerships; the developing Hearing Hub at Macquarie University; a growing global foot print; sound financials; and a leading market share,” Cochlear said.

“These strengths, along with our ongoing investments in R&D and the clinical trends driving implant demand for people of all ages, give Cochlear great confidence in the company’s long-term sustainable growth prospects.”

House prices rise, beating expectations

Australian housing prices in the capital cities have risen above analysts’ expectations, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data from the ABS shows the weighted average of house prices across the eight capital cities grew by 1.6% in the three months to December, although analysts had only expected to see an increase of 0.3%.

This also comes after a downwardly revised 0.14% decline in the September period.

The figures show house prices are now 2.1% higher than the same time last year. The news is sure to be welcomed by the property industry, which has suffered contractions in the construction industry over the past year.

The auctions market is set to pick up this weekend, when official clearance rates resume publication.

Trade deficit shrinks in December

The Australian trade deficit shrank in December, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures from the ABS show the deficit dropped to a seasonally adjusted $427 million. This comes after an upwardly revised deficit of $2.788 billion in December.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to narrow to $800 million.

Australian shares rise despite mixed offshore lead

Australian shares opened lower this morning after global markets fell overnight, with some weakness in Europe caused by political infighting in Spain.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was down 33.4 points to 4874.1 at 11:55 AEST, while in the United States, the Dow Jones also declined, losing 0.93% to 13,880.08.


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