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12 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Bulls in hiding as earnings flutter in – Bullish business conditions unmatched by earnings outlook

(12 August 2017, AFR, p25, by Vesna Poljak)

‘Jubilant business conditions are at odds with reasonable but uninspiring earnings forecasts, strategists say, as another week of results fails to align upbeat business sentiment and market reality.’

‘On Friday, Baby Bunting suffered a 18 per cent share price fall, to $1.60, upon weaker than expected trading. Soft results in the last few days came from Nick Scali, which foreshadowed a “challenging” outlook, and Mayne Pharma, which missed consensus. Investors warmed to updates from packaging group Orora, Janus Henderson and small caps Alliance Aviation and Paragone Care.’

‘According to UBS, of the 15 per cent of ASX 200 companies to have reported, consensus earnings estimates have been downgraded 1 per cent for large caps and 3 per cent for small caps in 2017-18. Underlying trends show large caps benefiting more from the backdrop of moderately stronger growth, according to strategist David Cassidy, but nor are large companies as positive as business surveys suggest.’

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