With Orica’s share price up about 20% since Monday's full-year result, you might have thought profits were soaring and the outlook brightening. The numbers tell a different tale. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 4% to $985m and, although statutory profits rose 49% to $600m, that reflected last year’s write-offs more than this year’s improvement. On an underlying basis, net profit fell 7%.
From earnings per share of 165 cents, down 7%, an interim dividend of 55 cents was declared (ex date 19 Nov), taking full-year dividends to 94 cents – 2% more than last year and giving the stock a yield of 4%.