ASX 200 (XJO) drops 0.5%, NSW COVID-19 cluster grows

The ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) has fallen by 0.5% at lunch as investors monitor the COVID-19 situation in Australia and overseas.

In New South Wales, the state has reported another 13 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed with 10 more cases associated with the Crossroads Hotel cluster. In response, NSW has put more restrictions onto venues again. Victoria has reported 270 new cases.

Altium (ASX: ALU) gets a mixed response

The Altium share price is now down 2.6%, but it was initially up in reaction to the business update.

The software business announced that it has achieved revenue growth of 10% to US$189 million. That includes record growth in new Altium Designer seats and subscriptions to exceed its 50,000 subscriber target.

The number of Altium Designer seats sold increased by 14% and there was record growth of 17% of the subscription base to more than 50,000 subscribers. Worldwide sales also increased by 10% to US$194 million.

The ASX share now has a cash balance of over US$90 million.

In previous business updates Altium has revealed that it made a strategic move to provide attractive pricing and extended payment terms to support customers and drive volume to achieve long term market dominance.

I think that was the right call by management. Whilst this year’s subscription may have been cheaper for customers, next year’s can be full price again and Altium will benefit. It has made the right long term decision.

Altium CEO Aram Mirkazemi revealed that there are now 2,500 companies and almost 5,000 active users now utilising the Altium 365 platform. That’s Altium’s cloud version of its software.

Pendal (ASX: PDL) goes higher

The Pendal share price is up more than 2% after announcing its funds under management (FUM) for 30 June 2020.

Pendal announced today that its FUM rose by 4% to $89.4 billion in the quarter ending 30 June 2020.

The fund manager said that there was a significant rebound in global share markets from the March 2020 lows which drove an increase in FUM of $11.1 billion. However, this was offset by a $5.2 billion currency impact as the Australian dollar appreciated against major currencies.

In terms of net flows there was a net outflow of $1 billion for Pendal Australia and $1.5 billion outflow for JOHCM, meaning there was a $2.5 billion net outflow over the quarter. The company pointed to the $0.2 billion inflow for the US pooled funds as a positive.

Pendal was pleased with the performance fees generated by the Australian division. FY20 performance fees are $13.6 million, up from $12 million in FY19.

Pushpay (ASX: PPH) pulled lower

The Pushpay share price has gone down 10% after the company announced its largest shareholder had sold shares.

It has been announced that shareholders associated with the Huljich family have sold 25% of their shares in Pushpay.

After the sale, the Huljich family are expected to remain the largest shareholder of Pushpay with a combined relevant interest in 43.2 million shares.

The Huljich family has sold just over 14.4 million shares for NZ$8.60 per share for NZ$123.9 million in total.

But the family said they will remain committed to Pushpay. Peter Huljich will remain on the Pushpay Board and Christopher Huljuch will continue to act as his ‘alternate director’.

Peter Huljich said: “The outlook for Pushpay remains positive. We look forward to continuing to support the company is it seeks to deliver upon its strategy of becoming the preferred provider of mission-critical software to the US faith sector. The Huljich family confirms that it does not have any current intention to sell further shares in Pushpay and has provided an undertaking to the underwriters not to sell further shares in Pushpay until after Pushpay’s FY21 interim results are announced”.

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At the time of publishing, Jaz owns shares of Altium.

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