Stocks of the Hour: Westpac, Magellan Financial & AUB Group

Westpac (ASX:WBC) reported first half cash earnings of $3.1 billion versus the Bloomberg consensus of $2.9 billion, a beat of 6.9 per cent. Statutory profit is 5 per cent weaker at $3.3 billion compared to the prior corresponding period. The nation’s oldest bank is set to pay an interim franked dividend of 61 cents per share on 25 June, up from the 58 cents payout in the prior period. Shares are trading 2.9 per cent higher at $24.53.

Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) is set to sell its 11.6 per cent stake in Mexican fast food chain Guzman Y Gomez to a Barrenjoey entity, with the intention of seeding an investment trust for $140 million. Magellan expects to record a pre-tax profit on the sale of $34 million in FY22, while the upfront sale price represents a 36.3 per cent premium to Magellan’s entry price in January last year. Magellan said the funds will be used to support its ongoing “capital management initiatives.” Shares are trading 4.1 per cent lower at $16.55.

UK insurance broker Tysers has received a $880 million offer from AUB Group (ASX:AUB) and unveiled a $350 million equity raising to fund the deal. In other takeover news, AUB is on a roll with another deal that they’ve embarked with PSC Insurance (ASX:PSI). The duo is set to acquire a 50 per cent stake in Tysers’ UK Retail division with both transactions set to increase the AUB’s global footprint. Shares in AUB Group are trading 1.3 per cent lower at $22.06, while PSC Insurance (ASX:PSI) are trading almost 2 per cent higher at $4.63.