Market close: NZ sharemarket posts biggest daily rise this year

The New Zealand sharemarket roared into life, posting its biggest single day rise this year as investors gained confidence from a solid reporting season that contains no surprises.

On the second day of the nationwide lockdown, the S&P/NZX 50 Index surged 238.09 points or 1.87 per cent to 12,956.97 from a morning’s low of 12,718.88 and surpassed the previous biggest rise of 1.69 per cent on January 22.

The all-time high is 13,558.19 points, set on January 8, and the index started this week 2.5 per cent down for the year. There were 92 gainers and 50 decliners over the whole market on strong trading of 78.84 million shares worth $261.71 million.

Forty two of the top 50 stocks made gains, with transport and logistics operator Mainfreight breaking through the $86 mark and Skellerup Holdings reaching a new high on a better-than-expected annual result.

Greg Main, Jarden wealth management adviser, said some positive financial results had certainly increased sentiment.

“There is a thought that Asian investment money has swung away from the Chinese market and is being reallocated to Australia and New Zealand. No-one is selling here and it does feel more money is chasing our stocks,” Main said.

“Businesses might be in a sweet spot at the moment, but it will be interesting to see what happens when the cost pressures start impacting their margins.”

Mainfreight surged $3.45 or 4.15 per cent to $86.50 without announcing anything. Main said Mainfreight was a well-run global company that operates in an environment where it can pass on costs to its suppliers.

Quiet performer Skellerup Holdings, the world’s second largest food-grade dairy rubberware manufacturer, climbed 25c or 4.76 per cent to $5.50 after reporting record net profit of $40.17m, up 38 per cent, for the 2021 financial year ending June.

Skellerup also had record operating cash of $58.8m, up 22 per cent, and record operating earnings (ebit) in its Agri division of $30.5m and Industrial division of $32.7m. Skellerup’s revenue was $279.51, up 11 per cent, total ebit increased 33 per cent to $56.4m, and it is paying a final dividend of 10.5c a share on October 15.

Chorus rose 79c or 12.4 per cent to $7.16 after the Commerce Commission proposed an initial regulated asset base of $5.427 billion for Chorus’ fibre business from January 2022 – in line with Chorus’ suggestion of $5.5b. The commission has also proposed annual revenue range of $689m-$786m for the 2022-24 regulatory period.

Ebos Group was up 40c to $32.40 after earlier reporting another strong result. Ebos is building a $80m, state-of-the-art pet food manufacturing plant in New South Wales, and has bought Pioneer Medical, a New Zealand importer of spine and major joint implants for orthopaedic and neurosurgery.

Fletcher Building regained 21c or 2.75 per cent to $7.84, when investors digested its impressive result a day after its share price fell.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was up 41c to $33.65; a2 Milk gained 12c to $6.94; Freightways picked up 27c or 2.12 per cent to $12.99; Infratil gained 29c or 4.03 per cent to $7.49; Restaurant Brands climbed 60c or 3.97 per cent to $15.70; and Pushpay Holdings was up 7c or 4.43 per cent to $1.65.

The energy stocks were also on the move. Contact was up 15c or 1.86 per cent to $8.22; Meridian rose 15c or 3.03 per cent to $5.095; Mercury gained 16c or 2.41 per cent to $6.80; Genesis increased 7.5c or 2.26 per cent to $3.39; and Trustpower was up 16c or 1.98 per cent to $8.23.

Z Energy collected 9c or 3.09 per cent to $3; Synlait Milk increased 8c or 2.29 per cent to $3.58; Sanford was up 9c or 1.91 per cent to $4.79; Move Logistics rose 6c or 3.97 per cent to $1.57; and Serko gained 10c to $7.05.

It wasn’t pretty reading but it was expected. Auckland International Airport’s lowest number of overseas arrivals and departures since 1972, because of the Covid pandemic, resulted in it first underlying loss of $41.8m, from a profit of $188.5m in the previous financial year. Total number of passengers decreased to 6.4m, down 58.5 per cent on the previous year. Its share price closed 3c down at $7.07.

The country’ largest kiwifruit grower Seeka was up 10c or 1.96 per cent to $5.20 on the back of a strong six-month result. Seeka’s revenue reached a record $224.5m, up 25.6 per cent, and net profit increased 11.9 per cent to $20.6m. Operating earnings (ebitda) rose 54 per cent to $46.9m, ad it is paying an interim dividend of 13c a share on October 13.

Retailer Briscoe Group fell 13c or 2.12 per cent to $6; and SkyCity Entertainment was down 4c to $3.07.

The New Zealand Refining Company, about to be changed from a refinery to a fuel import terminal, had a 3 per cent fall in revenue to $115.43m for the six months ending June, with throughout down from 15.4m to 13m. Its loss shortened to $4.91m from $186.3m, and its share price slipped 1c to 83c.

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