Stephen Bartholomeusz

The shale gas revolution is igniting BHP's US fortunes

BHP Billiton's costly plunge into the US onshore gas business was initially seen as controversial, but the company is now reaping the rewards from its liquid-rich assets.

Time to move on from MRRT mistakes, Swan

The former treasurer's response to the MRRT repeal is foolish for all the same reasons the tax was doomed from conception.

Big iron ore miners turn up the volume

BHP Billiton, Vale and Rio Tinto are set to ramp up iron ore production, despite softening demand from China and a sinking price. The pressure’s on for smaller miners and Chinese steel producers.

A nervous APRA shows its hand

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As the financial system inquiry progresses, it's clear the regulator has some concerns that the sophisticated and nuanced regime it oversees might soon be overlaid with some new and quite rigid domestic rules.

Hardware is the weak spot in Woolworths' solid showing

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Momentum is starting to flow through Woolworths' food and liquor operations, but the poor performances of Big W and Masters are blemishes on chief executive Grant O'Brien's otherwise impressive record.

The capacity war has Virgin caught in a tailspin

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Chief executive John Borghetti has turned Virgin Australia into a viable alternative to Qantas, but its increasing cost base and big international losses will be unsustainable in the long term.

A radical strategy shift has NBN Co hitting its stride

NBN Co's adoption of a lower-cost, less complex rollout strategy suggests the company is finally making progress after its troubled early history.

Why Qantas' prognosis may not be terminal

The losses announced by Qantas are the worst in its corporate history, but they could also mark a turning point in the company's fortunes as it stabilises its balance sheet and undergoes its structural transformation.

Conroy gets his NBN comeuppance

The Vertigan Committee's review puts hard figures to the far inferior net benefit of FTTP compared to a multi-technology mix. In the process, it demolishes Conroy’s argument that future NBN benefits are unmeasurable.

Murray Goulburn's capital plan aims for the big cheese

Murray Goulburn's capital raising will allow it to aggressively expand and capitalise on growth in the Asian market, while offering farmer suppliers higher farmgate prices for their milk.

More hard yakka ahead for PacBrands

PacBrand’s annual result reveals the good and bad to John Pollaers’ growth strategy, and undeniable rationale to selling off workwear brands. Presumably there will be more portfolio changes ahead.

The only way is up for bottomed-out Boart

The downturn in commodity prices has hit Boart Longyear hard, but the flattening out of the mining sector's downturn should give investors and the company some cause for cautious optimism.

Bruce Dixon's marvellous medicine

In most cases such a large turnaround in profitability would beggar belief, but Spotless Group is an unusual case.

Plenty of upside in the Amcor-Orora demerger

Amcor's investment in Orora ahead of last year’s demerger appears to be paying off, providing it with a platform to deliver solid profits as well as easier access to growth capital.

The allure of BHP's spun-off vehicle

A demerged BHP Billiton will result in two businesses with very different risk and growth profiles. The continuing BHP is likely to reap the rewards of radical simplification while NewCo may take a more aggressive approach.

Clarke's running out of time on Treasury Wine

While Treasury Wine's result may not look so encouraging at first glance, there are signs that Michael Clarke’s strategies are gaining traction. His biggest problem now is a lack of time.

Why glum on BHP, Blighty?

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The probable explanation for BHP Billiton’s London sell-off is disappointment with the lack of capital return. Given the nature of the miner's demerger, that reaction is hard to understand.

BHP’s second-best pass the test

BHP Billiton's omission of the Nickel West assets from its spun-off group underscores the fact that this new venture is not a receptacle for the mining giant's trash.

A robust balance sheet is QBE's best insurance

QBE's announcement of a capital plan and asset sales should create a more stable base for the group amid its volatile operating environment.

NAB’s UK blight overshadows its improving performance

National Australia Bank's UK operations continue to detract from its high-performing Australian franchise, which has seen strong growth in its residential mortgage portfolio and wealth management business.