The New Zealand sharemarket closed the week with a strong gain of nearly one per cent on some positive earnings updates, particularly from blue chip stock Port of Tauranga.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index had a strong afternoon of trading, rising 128.82 points or 0.99 per cent to 13,099.82, after hitting an intraday low of 12,951.28. There were 90 gainers and 47 decliners on improved volume of 53.2 million share transactions worth $208.26 million.

The index finished the week at break even after a succession of falls. However, it is still lagging. The index has fallen more than half a per cent this month (0.61 per cent) and is slightly ahead (0.7 per cent) for the year to date as Wall Street indices have rallied more than 20 per cent and reached new highs.

Shane Solly, portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management, said it had been a solid week for earnings updates and results both here at annual meetings and in the United States.

“We had a stronger overnight lead from the US with strong profit results and 75 per cent of the S&P stocks who have now reported have beaten expectations.

“Sharemarkets run on earnings and every now and again they get reined in by interest rates – but earnings are still leading the battle,” Solly said.

Port of Tauranga, the country’s largest port, picked up 20c or 2.99 per cent to $6.90 after telling shareholders at its annual meeting that total trade increased 6.9 per cent or 6.8m tonnes on a 7.5 per cent rise in ship visits to 360 during the first quarter of the 2022 financial year.

Exports increased 5.3 per cent to 4.3m tonnes with dairy products and kiwifruit strong, and imports were up 9.8 per cent to 2.5m tonnes. Container volumes increased 8.1 per cent to 310,997 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). The port company expects full-year earnings of $103m-$110m, up slightly from the previous year’s $102.4m.

Global marketer a2 Milk continued its rebound, rising 22c or 3.46 per cent to $6.57. Synlait Milk was up 10c or 2.86 per cent to $3.60. Solly said a2 Milk was a bit oversold after it gave its update earlier in the week.

SkyCity Entertainment was unchanged at $3.20 after it told shareholders at the annual meeting that the closure of the Hamilton and Auckland casinos was costing the company $1m of operating earnings (ebitda) a day. SkyCity had total liquidity of $240m to respond to further Covid restrictions and one-off events.

Solly said the update showed how bad it had been for SkyCity. “I know it doesn’t sound good losing $1 million of income a day but investors reacted positively because that’s what they are looking – some clarity.”

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was up 28c to $31.21; Mainfreight rose $1.30 to $89.90; Auckland International Airport increased 16c or 2.04 per cent to $7.99; Freightways gained 24c or 1.89 per cent to $12.95; and Ebos Group collected 55c to $36.25.

Pushpay Holdings was up 7c or 3.83 per cent to $1.90; Fletcher Building increased 8c to $7.17; Skellerup Holdings collected 12c or 1.96 per cent to a new high of $6.23; Delegat Group collected 12c to $14.60; and Air New Zealand rose 5c or 3.09 per cent to $1.67.

Move Logistics rose 12c or 7.41 per cent to $1.74 after completing the institutional entitlement offer of its $40m capital raising, and the retail offer of one new share for every 3.06 shares held at the clearing price of $1.48 will open on Monday. The move raised $27m from the institutions and the bookbuild on the available entitlements were twice over-subscribed.

Other gainers were Bremworth, up 4c or 5.48 per cent to 77c; Evolve Education rising 5c or 6.02 per cent to 88c; Allied Farmers increasing 4c or 5.63 per cent to 75c; Harmoney increasing 4c or 2.02 per cent to $2.02; Greenfern Industries up 5c or 19.23 per cent to 31c.

South Port New Zealand, up 3.5c to $8.94, also held its annual meeting and said it didn’t expect market fundamentals would change for the next 12 months, with bulk cargoes remaining the core of the business.

Marsden Maritime Holdings, which operates Northport near Whangarei, was down 5c to $6.50.

Vista Group fell 5c or 1.96 per cent to $2.50; Briscoe Group shed 22c or 3.08 per cent to $6.92; EROAD decreased 16c or 2.93 per cent to $5.30; Geneva Finance declined 5c or 6.85 per cent to 68c; and My Food Bag was down another 4c or 3.2 per cent to $1.21.

Publisher and broadcaster NZME has completed the sale of GrabOne to Global Marketplace New Zealand for $175m and its share price was unchanged at $1.14.

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