ASX

The ASX result is out. The result itself is fine ($250m, vs $244m expected) and is of the usual high quality.

However, the CEO has announced his intention to retire, described below.

I think you would be nervous when your CEO retires a touch unexpectedly ahead of the delivery of an overdue and overbudget project.

The benign interpretation of the retirement is that he feels it (the project) sufficiently progressed enough that he can leave hat in hand feeling confident.

But, it creates an unnecessary element of doubt.

Cost guidance tickled up a touch, which is readily explainable through economy wide wage pressures, so no problems there.

The issue is that the ASX is is not a cheap stock, is facing the impact of secular-growth-stock-meets-higher-real-yields issue, has project execution uncertainty, and now has new management risk.

And that go-live date is not exactly tomorrow, so it seems a little bit of a stretch to equate it (in our mind) with de-risked in handover mode.

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In our job, jumping at the odd shadow can occasionally be helpful.

As it stands, it is difficult to get behind it.

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