Market close: Quiet sharemarket waiting on results season

A lifeless New Zealand sharemarket is, at present, the story of two stocks – Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and Mainfreight. Whichever way they move, the market goes with them.

They both had sharp rises, pushing the S&P/NZX 50 Index to a gain of 49.28 points or 0.38 per cent and closing at 13,090.58. The index hit an intraday low of 13,015.19 points.

There were 51 gainers and 80 decliners across the whole market, and price movements occurred on light trading, with 32.35 million shares worth $110.7 million changing hands.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, with the biggest market capitalisation at $18.63 billion, and Mainfreight, the fourth largest at $9b, make up nearly 20 per cent of the index. On light volumes of trade, they can have a strong impact.

They carried the market to a 1 per cent gain last Friday, took it down on Monday and then picked it up again – after Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rose 69c or 2.18 per cent to $32.29, and Mainfreight climbed $2 or 2.27 per cent to $90.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said the market is very quiet and waiting for the results season – with companies reporting half-year earnings ending September.

“Pushpay Holdings is the first to report, and things should get interesting after that,” he said. Pushpay was down 2c to $1.85.

Goodson said dividend stocks were a bit weak but retailers were benefiting from reopenings. “Private savings have soared during the lockdowns, not just here but around the world, and more than likely there will be a spend-up with people reallocating their travel budgets.”

Briscoe Group was up 15c or 2.22 per cent to $6.90; Michael Hill International increased 2c to $1.16; and The Warehouse Group gained 9c or 2.25 per cent to $4.09.

Kathmandu Holdings, down 1c to $1.56, wasn’t punished by investors even though it told the market that first quarter operating profit is likely to be $35m lower than last year’s because of lockdowns in New Zealand and Australia.

Kathmandu sales were down 17.6 per cent and Rip Curl’s down 9.4 per cent for the 13 weeks ending October. But online sales grew 33.8 per cent, and Rip Curl trade has increased 27 per cent since the reopening in New South Wales and Victoria.

Interest rate-sensitive dividend stocks Chorus fell 8.5c to $6.39; Meridian Energy declined 7c to $4.92; Genesis shed 5c to $3.15; Vector decreased 7c or 1.74 per cent to $3.95; and Property for Industry was down 6c or 2.03 per cent to $2.89.

The leading banks were weaker, ANZ Banking Group falling 50c or 1.7 per cent to $28.92, and Westpac Banking Corporation down 35c to $23.42.

Ryman Healthcare was up 21c to $14.70; Ebos Group gained 34c to $36.45; a2 Milk collected 9c to $6.55; Port of Tauranga increased 10c to $6.89; and SkyCity Entertainment rose 10c or 3.17 per cent to $3.25;

Delegat Group gained 10c to $14.50; Scott Technology also rose 10c or 3.13 per cent to $3.30; and hospitality group Savor was up 1.5c or 3.85 per cent to 40.5c.

Napier Port was down 7c or 2.3 per cent to $2.98 and it has now fallen to the same price level during its first day of trading as a listed company on August 20, 2019.

Sky Network Television was down 8c or 4.26 per cent to $1.80; Arvida fell 4c or 1.96 per cent to $2; fellow retirement village operator Oceania Healthcare declined 3c or 2.17 per cent to $1.35; online personal lender Harmoney shed 4c or 2.03 per cent to $1.93; Vital lost 3c or 5.26 per cent to 54c; and PaySauce was down 1.5c or 4.69 per cent to 30.5c.

Following consultation, dairy giant Fonterra is proceeding with a shareholder vote on its capital restructure, saying the Flexible Shareholding plan is the best course of action for the co-operative. Voting begins on November 18, and the plan is expected to be implemented by June next year.

Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund was unchanged at $3.95; and Synlait Milk was down 9c or 2.6 per cent to $3.37.

Transport technology firm EROAD increased 13c or 2.56 per cent to $5.20 after gaining Overseas Investment Office approval to buy Auckland-based Coretex. EROAD is now waiting for clearance from the Commerce Commission and is confident of completing the purchase by the end of the year.

DGL Group made another acquisition, this time non-oil automotive chemicals manufacturer Austech for a cash payment of $13m and an issue of 5.3m shares. DGL was down 4c to $2.90.

Greenfern Industries gained 2c or 7.84 per cent to 27.5c after signing an agreement with Cannvalate Pty to distribute two medicinal cannabis products in Australia.

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