ALS Limited is a commercial services company with national and international operations. The Company's services include analytical and testing services, producing industrial and commercial chemical products, and hospitality, cleaning, and catering products.
AUB Group Limited provides financial services. The Company offers equity-based risk management, insurance broking, and specialist underwriting agencies, as well as focuses on risk solutions for clients and strengthening our partners risk advisory capabilities.
Carsales Com LTD
carsales.com Ltd owns and operates a portfolio of automotive and related industry websites, including an automotive classifieds website.
EQT HOLDINGS LTD
Equity Holdings Limited provides personal trust and financial services to customers in Australia. Services include will and estate planning, trustee for settlements, financial guardian, investment and property management and fund investments. Other services provided by the company include income tax services, short term share trading and mortgage loans and investments.
Hansen Technologies Limited develops, supports and integrates billing systems software for the telecommunications and utilities sectors in Australia. The Company also provides IT outsourcing services such as facilities management and develops software and services for workforce management.
Lifestyle Communities Ltd Limited provides resort style housing for individuals in their fifties and older.
NIB Holdings Ltd. offers health insurance products. Depending on the specific product, the Company covers ambulance costs; and reimburses for costs not covered by Medicare including dental, optical, physiotherapy and natural therapies; and some hospitalization costs.
Propel Funeral Partners Ltd
Propel Funeral Partners Limited provides funeral services. The Company owns and operates funeral homes, cemeteries, crematoria, and related assets, as well as offers funeral, cremation, burial, and mortuary services. Propel Funeral Partners serves individuals and families in Australia and New Zealand.
Seven Group Holdings
Seven Group Holdings Ltd. is a diversified operating and investment group. The Groups interests include media holdings that include Seven Network, a commercial television network and publishing company, a telecommunications company, and a heavy equipment dealer that operates Caterpillar dealerships in Australia and North Eastern China.
Webjet Limited is engaged in a digital travel business in global consumer markets and wholesales markets. The Company offers travel shopping and reservation services to clients as an online travel agency (OTA) in Australia and New Zealand. Webjet also provides B2B business to wholesale players by helping them fulfill accommodation requirements for their consumers.
Markets rose mildly in April around the globe on further short-term comfort that inflation may have peaked. Chinese equities bucked the trend (down 5%) with fears of slower growth feeding into a 9% fall in iron ore prices. Hence mining stocks underperformed, however gold stocks continued to rally with central bank buying, and fears over a recession increasing focus on the gold sector, which has rallied over 50% in six months.
The picture remains fluid, with further rate rises coming through in early May. In the short term, markets are anchoring to the outlook statement of central banks, which has proven a fraught proposition when we consider that eighteen months ago most central banks firmly indicated that rate rises were highly unlikely. Volatility is therefore likely, and we believe our positioning around avoiding companies with poor pricing power is still relevant.
Our key positive contributors during April were:
MA Financial (+17%) rose in a mild overall market rally and has bounced 29% from its March lows from what we considered oversold levels. NIB (+10%) again bounced from levels we believe were oversold following the acquisition and fundraising in 2022. AUB (+8%) rose based on the increasing likelihood of strong insurance rates in an inflationary environment. Carsales (+7%) continues to outperform given its superior growth rates and the recent increased investment in the Brazillian operations of Webmotors. ALS Group (+6%) rallied following a profit upgrade in the current buoyant environment for exploration budgets.
Our key negative contributors during April were:
Ardent Leisure (-13%) dropped as fear over domestic discretionary spending due to higher interest rates took effect. EBOS (-5%) corrected following a 6% rally in March. IVE Group (-4%), PSC Insurance (-3%), and Hansen (-2%) drifted without any obvious catalysts, likely reflecting stock market flows in the short term rather than any change in underlying valuations.