Most stocks traded in a narrow price range – except for the rebounding leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare – in a quiet close to the New Zealand sharemarket for the week.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index edged ahead 37.81 points or 0.3 per cent to 12,639.83 on steady trading of 87.23 million shares worth $158.41 million. There were 50 gainers and 86 decliners across whole market of 183 stocks.
"With the United States markets closed (for Thanksgiving) there were no major leads and we had a pretty quiet, aimless day with modest movements and modest volumes," said Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rebounded strongly, rising $1.46 or 4.49 per cent to $33.95 on trade worth $23.8m. A Covid beneficiary, it has been shuffling between $33 and $37 over the past four months.
Goodson said Fisher and Paykel put out a very good result this week which was expected and it has had a massive advance from $21 a share during the first half of the year.
"There are a range of views out there about Fisher and Paykel. People are considering different scenarios and trying to understand whether its high valuation is justified. We will have to wait and see," he said.
Auckland International Airport was down 14.5c to $7.655, a2 Milk fell 5c to $14.67, Spark lost 5c to $4.65, Freightways declined 18c or 1.9 per cent to $9.30, Mercury Energy slipped 5c to $6, and Fletcher Building was down 8c to $5.73.
Online travel provider Serko decreased 9c to $5.41, Z Energy was down 6c or 1.83 per cent to $3.22, and new listing Harmoney decreased 6c to $3.43.
The few movers among the larger cap stocks were Meridian Energy up 6c to $6.18, Chorus climbing 17c or 2.06 per cent to $8.42, and Sanford gaining 13c or 2.57 per cent to $5.19.
Air New Zealand, hit hard by the Covid crisis, continues to surprise, this time rising 5c or 2.76 per cent to $1.86. The airline put out its latest statistics, showing passengers carried in October fell 50.6 per cent to 690,000 compared with 1.39m in the same month last year.
But Air NZ told the market it had been awarded four months of additional cargo flights under the Government's International Air Freight Capacity scheme, and it still expects to make a loss in FY21. Cargo now contributes nearly half of the current monthly revenue.
"Maybe there's a bit of sentiment there rather than a hard-nosed analysis of its business - with vaccines rolling out," said Goodson. "Air NZ is burning tens of millions of dollars every month and you need to take a very good view of the timing and size of the bounce back in air travel."
Genesis Energy increased 2c to $3.285 after saying it is reviewing its 46 per cent involvement with the Kupe oil and gas field off the coast of Taranaki. The Kupe joint venture is considering drilling an additional well and Genesis said this changes the risk and opportunity profile. The review will be completed by mid next year.
"Kupe has been a high cash generator for Genesis but it has a finite life, and Genesis wouldn't be doing a review if it wasn't looking to sell at an acceptable price," said Goodson.
Argosy Property, which reported a solid half-year result this week, rose 4c or 2.74 per cent to an all-time high of $1.50 after receiving two broker upgrades. Goodson said Argosy has a mix of industrial, office and retail property and compared with latest valuations its industrial component is a little bit behind.
Fellow property stocks Goodman Trust gained 2.5c to $2.41, while Stride fell 5c or 2.20 per cent to $2.22.