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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 17/02/2013

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(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Corporate earnings' results of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) were good, National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ) were a pass, not a distinction.

JB Hi-Fi (ASX:JBH) and Leighton Holdings (ASX: LEI) were corkers, their earnings surprisingly strong.

Rio Tinto's (ASX: RIO) result was a let's-write-down-as-much-as-we can type of result with new chief Sam Walsh wanting to start from scratch. On the face, the writedowns showed how less than average some of Rio's past acquisitions have been. And what a powerhouse the iron ore division earnings will be this year (at 100-150 a tonne 62% Fines). Coupled with the write downs Walsh has announced, cost cutting measures and a hold on project expenditure to ensure return on investment equates to return on shareholders funds is a promising start. Something surely missing in Rio's past - all signals to a smart investor.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is due to report this Wednesday, not much joy should be expected from this camp, until there is a changing of the guard.

That said, with iron ore prices and copper bouyant, a rising river will lift boats.

Weight of money moving into defensive assets has propelled the share prices and stretched valuations of banks and Telstra (ASX:TLS). With a strong dividend yield, underpinned by a dominant market position and murmurings that dividends could be increased weight of money should see this market favourite continue to find support.

On a historic read, the price earnings multiples while stretching are not out of this world. But share prices are moving at faster than EPS growth, and hence valuations - the All Ords and ASX 200 could do with a slowdown.

At single digit gains for industrials, price earnings multiples have moved ahead of share prices. The weight of money is carrying dividend paying stocks higher and higher " which could carry them further yet.

Value is to be found at the smaller to mid-sized end of town, where if anything many non-dividend paying industrial and selected resources stocks have gone the other way.

 






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