Raising a bottle to Bellamy's frothy formula

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Sometimes the market can just smell something.

Sometimes it's the hint of off milk wafting into the noses of brokers; other times it's surging demand for vitamin-rich infant formula that tickles nasal nerves.

And so it was, apparently, with Andrew Cohen's Tasmanian-based infant milk formula group Bellamy's which has seen its shares rising like cream in recent days.

On Monday the company's shares bubbled up 4.4 per cent to $8.43. Then on Tuesday Bellamy's shares were heated another 5.1 per cent to $8.80. By Wednesday, Bellamy's shares were positively frothy climbing 12 per cent to $9.88.

Turns out the market may have had a whiff of something.

On Thursday, Bellamy's revealed improved guidance for 2018. It now sees earnings growth of between 17 per cent and 20 per cent compared to its August forecast of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent earnings growth.

That news saw Bellamy's shares jump 4.6 per cent to $10.23.

So CBD reached out to the Australian Securities Exchange to ask whether Bellamy's would get a speeding ticket for its good fortune.

But it seems like the ASX might be too busy raising a baby's bottle to Bellamy's good fortune, with a spokesman saying it is monitoring the situation while adding the entire sector has been on the up in recent days.

And why should we be concerned?

It's not like anyone has accused Bellamy's or other companies exposed to the milk industry of improper disclosure....

(Except for those n'er-do-well types at Maurice Blackburn and Slater and Gordon who are running separate class actions against Bellamy's and Murray Goulburn. And the corporate watchdog which slapped a $66,000 fine on Bellamy's this week for its disclosure breach. Bellamy's accepted the fine without admission of liability.)

JOS is not the boss

The who's in and who's out of the race to be the next chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been watched more keenly in business circles than football trade week.

And so it's good to know a final decision has been made on one of the biggest star free agents whose name had been put in the ring.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's mate John O'Sullivan on Thursday dealt himself out of the race to be the next chairman of ASIC.

Probably a good politics by the former Credit Suisse Australia chairman considering the Labor Party had promised to keep niggling him if he was appointed because his friendship with Turnbull and the ALP's belief he was involved in the ute-gate debacle despite JOS never being implicated in any wrongdoing.

This is a view that is clearly out of step with many people in the market who think JOS (who is also an ex Commonwealth Bank executive) has a stellar CV that would make him a good choice for ASIC. And markets never get things wrong.

Sun up for some

Michael Cameron's Suncorp has just shuffled its executive decks and it's been brutal for some and joyous for others.

Pip Marlow, Suncorp's current CEO of strategic innovation (yes, there is such a thing), has been elevated to the new role of CEO customer marketplace.

Her new role combines the C-Suite positions of customer platforms, customer experience and strategic innovation into a mega role that bring together all customer-facing teams and innovation teams within the organisation.

And it was a good day for Gary Dransfield, who has taken up the job of CEO insurance after being in the role of CEO customer platforms since March 2016. We presume he'll be looking after insurance!

Also stepping up is CFO Steve Johnston who will include legal and company secretary duties in his responsibilities, while Mark Reinke moves from customer experience CEO to an advisory position reporting directly to Cameron.

But the reshuffle wasn't as kind to current CEO Insurance Anthony Day and chief legal officer Kate Olgers, who both decided it was a good time to leave the company - a good time indeed considering the management changes are "effective immediately".

This story Raising a bottle to Bellamy's frothy formula first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.