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A quick look at 52 week high and low stock prices: August 2010

August 11th, 2010 · Greg Atkinson · 10 Comments

Today the Australian stock market is slipping back towards 4500 as once again investors are becoming concerned that the feeble global economic recovery is faltering. But rather than focus on the short term movement of the stock market let’s once again look at the 52 week share prices of some commonly held Australian stocks.

First the good news: the stock market is nowhere near the bear market lows of March 2009 but the somewhat worrying news is that the ASX All Ordinaries and S&P/ASX 200 have both been struggling since late last year.

This is a concern because the mining sector and commodities exports have been surprisingly strong, unemployment levels in Australia have remained relatively low when compared to other G20 economies and the housing market has been very robust.

So on one hand it seems the Australian economy has been somewhat sheltered from the worst of the global financial crisis and yet, Australian stock prices have been struggling. Maybe a look at the stock prices below will help us understand what might be happening?

52 Week Stock Prices Highs/Lows
(Last trade/closing prices as of 10th August 2010)
[table “6” not found /]

A closing price in green means the stock is trading higher than last time a check of 52 week stock prices was undertaken. (February 2010) A closing price in red means the stock price has fallen over the same period. A figure in black means the share price is approximately the same as the last review.

Since October 2009 most stocks have slid backwards apart from the miners BHP Biliton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO), the consumer staple Dominos (DMP) and Australand (ALZ) a listed property trust.

Since the last review in February this year 3 out of the four banks are up as is Woolworths.

The big mining companies have done well on the back of stimulus spending across the G20 especially in China, Dominos has probably benefited from people eating at home more rather that dining out and Australand has bounced back strongly from being oversold.

But apart from these stocks all others have slipped back since October 2009 and I would suggest this reflects how the underlying Australian economy is really fairing. In other words if you strip out Government stimulus spending then it is fairly tough out there in the domestic market for most Australian companies.

The major banks do appear to have been doing well in terms of bringing in money but housing loans have been dropping off considerably over the last few months and business lending is down so this is probably keeping their stock prices subdued.

Perhaps the 52 week stock prices are pointing out the obvious in that exports are doing well but the domestic economy is starting to struggle? But if the mining sector can keep creating jobs then perhaps the short term weakness in the domestic economy will be nothing more than that, a short term blip?

However if we see the demand for commodities weaken a little as many G20 nations tighten their belts then unemployment in Australia could start to creep up and the domestic economy may weaken further. This would put pressure on stock prices and the ASX All Ords/ASX 200 may struggle to post any major gains for 2010 at all.

What is likely to happen over the next few months…who can say for sure? But certainly the U.S economy is starting to look fragile again and one wonders how long China can be insulated from the economic woes afflicting many of it’s major trading partners.

The main shock of the global financial crisis has passed, but it’s impact on the global economy is still being felt.

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Greg Atkinson // Aug 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Well today Telstra is down near it’s 52 week low and maybe even set a new low. Much of the damage done to Telstra has been because of the NBN and threats made by the Government but I think we can also thank Sol Trujillo for destroying plenty of shareholder value.

  • 2 Biker // Aug 13, 2010 at 11:56 am

    And Telstra has, of course, damaged its own reputation. Complaints figures are well above market share percentages.

    In many parts of Australia, including new housing estates, residents and tenants are ‘locked into’ Telstra, ensuring their historic monopoly continues.

    Admittedly, some of the opposition (eg AAPT) is pretty dreadful.

    And, of course, VOIP doesn’t help Telstra’s share price, either.
    We save thou$and$ annually with Skype!~ 😀

  • 3 Greg Atkinson // Aug 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Well if Optus ran a cable out to new estates then Telstra would not have a monopoly. In any case people can pick VOIP and not have any connection to Telstra at all so where is the monopoly? Out in rural areas few telco’s bother building networks since they know they can’t make profit so Telstra does the job under agreement with the Government. Then people complain that services out in the rural areas are not as good as the city!

    Honestly the Telstra bashing in Australia is often unreasonable and based on some crazy concept that no matter where you live you should have access to up to date, fault free, fully redundant telecommunications that costs less that a few beers a week 🙂

    Who is the winner? Well Optus..I guess..and who owns them? The majority shareholder is the Singapore Government.

    Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot.

  • 4 Biker // Aug 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Have to agree that Telstra offers very poor value (and this from someone who used to hold its shares.)

    Deals done between developers and Telstra, in the guise of faster service, will be challenged continually, in the next few years.

    “…no matter where you live you should have access to up to date, fault free, fully redundant telecommunications that costs less that a few beers a week…”

    Yes, that would be ideal, but unrealistic. Just as unacceptable is Telstra’s (past) gouging. Switching to iinet was the second smartest move we ever made. Initially we were told by Telsta that ADSL wasn’t possible here. When iinet checked it out, Telstra was stymied.

    You only have to look at the successful court cases (continually) mounted in Australia, to see that they’re on a losing streak… . 😉

  • 5 Plornt // Aug 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    What blew me away was the EBITDA forecast. Not what I was expecting at all. But thats what I get for buying into turnarounds – they seldom turn. I Cut and moved on yesterday.

    All posts by this poster is not financial advice or a reccomendation to do something. Can change my mind quickly on any decision I make, given markets always change. Have positions in instruments discussed unless otherwise indicated.
    Be sure to seek and take personal professional advice from someone familiar with your circumstances and needs.

  • 6 Greg Atkinson // Aug 13, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Plornt I bailed out of Telstra a while back when Sol and his band of merry men were running the show. I would like to see TLS stage a comeback, but I fear it will be some years off.

  • 7 Biker // Aug 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    “I bailed out of Telstra a while back when Sol and his band of merry men were running the show.”

    Same here.

    “I would like to see TLS stage a comeback”

    Telstra may well be the most hated and least trusted company in Australia. Only transparency and a mission statement* based on ethical behaviour could ever resurrect this sad old predator.

    Yes, I’d rather see an Aussie company prosper than any overseas competitor, but you don’t succeed screwing your fellow Aussies.
    It’s not a long-term recipe for success.

    * Hate the term, but it would be _easy_ to write that statement.
    Far harder for Telstra to walk-the-talk, but they’d need to do
    just that. What a shift in attitude it would take!!~

  • 8 Ned S // Aug 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    What’s your latest punt Greg – I’m thinking maybe All Ords 4K for end of calender year given our political situation and the Yanks’ 1 Jan 2011 tax issues???

  • 9 Greg Atkinson // Aug 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Ned I never factored a hung parliament into my thinking so to be honest I am not sure where the market may go. What we do know is that political instability isn’t good for the stock market and at the moment stocks certainly are unlikely to enter a decent rally.

    I am pretty sure though that the markets won’t like a ALP/Greens alliance running the country.

  • 10 Ned S // Aug 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

    “the markets won’t like a ALP/Greens alliance running the country” – You got that right! And it is actually a possibility I see. Nothing can be done for it but keep counting the votes I guess.

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