HSBC Holdings [LSE: HSBA]
We are into the bank reporting season in the UK, with HSBC kicking off matters. The company has clearly done a good job of trimming costs with expenses tumbling notably, pushing the reported pre-tax profit up by around $10 billion. The bank continues its pivot towards the Asian market, with the region now accounting for 75% of adjusted profits, although disappointment could stem from the fact that the dividend is being left unchanged and requirements for regulatory capital will defer share buybacks. Shareholders don’t seem to be seeing much of the upside.
Vodafone [LSE: VOD]
There’s a note out from Vodafone this morning announcing the start of trials for using the 4G mobile network to track small drones. The critical point here is that it shows a continued commitment by Vodafone to keep pushing into the Internet of Things sphere which could prove crucial as their traditional mobile phone market reaches saturation point.
BHP Billiton [LSE: BLT]
Half year profits from mining giant BHP Billiton were released earlier, showing that the company took a hit in terms of changes to US tax legislation. However this is a one off charge and the rising price of commodities has helped push the interim dividend up by just over one third. Separately, the company remains under pressure from a growing number of investors to consider cancelling its London stock market listing and instead just focus on a single listing in Sydney.