The New Zealand sharemarket's two biggest companies, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk, drove prices down significantly on another day punctured by NZX website crashes.
The website was up and down like a yo-yo due to sustained cyber attacks, but the S&P/NZX 50 Index went only one way, falling 155.95 points or 1.29 per cent to 11,937.56. It was the biggest one-day fall since late March, and the index finished 156 points below the all-time high struck late on Friday at 12,093.52.
There were 70 gainers and 65 decliners over the whole market, and 80.59 million shares worth $272.45m were traded.
Fisher and Paykel, up nearly 130 per cent over the past 12 months, fell 83c or 2.2 per cent to $34.49m on trade worth $8.56m, and a2 Milk was down 71c or 3.68 per cent to $18.59 with $32.19m of its shares changing hands.
Rickey Ward, JBWere head of investment strategy group, said the market was pushed down by two names – Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk. "It highlights the fact that the direction of the market is at the mercy of a handful of stocks including energy. The markets offshore don't share the same attributers."
He said a2 Milk was looking to buy a production facility and that could be seen as an area of increased risk, though some would say it's a move to manage risk.
"Fisher and Paykel has had one helluva run, they gave an earnings upgrade at their annual meeting, and it feels like profit-taking is involved. Fisher and Paykel is up 50 per cent this year and a2 Milk 30 per cent, and in a market that has struggled to break even because of Covid, I can understand investors taking some profits," said Ward.
ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner said business activity indicators slipped a little from their early-August preliminary reads, but on the whole were relatively robust to the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community on August 12. "The fact remains that activity indicators are sitting at levels consistent with recession."
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Mainfreight was down 55c to $47.99; Fletcher Building gained 6c or 1.7 per cent to $3.59; and wine company Delegat Group increased 62c or 4.58 per cent to $14.15.
Among the market-moving energy stocks, Meridian fell 24c or 4.51 per cent to $5.08, Mercury was down 22c or 4.07 per cent to $5.19 and Trustpower decreased 20c or 2.87 per cent to $6.77. Vector was up 4c to $4.48 and Genesis also gained 4c to $3.02.
Abano Healthcare's board is backing a new takeover bid from BGH Capital and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan at $4.45 a share, representing an equity value for Abano of $117m and enterprise value of $256m.
Abano's share price shot up $1.09 or 41.76 per cent to $3.70, despite reporting a net loss of $48.73 that included impairments worth $45.5 for the full-year ending May. Abano had a profit of $7.6m in the previous and its latest revenue was $244.11m, down 12.6 per cent from $279.3m.
The long-standing Colonial Motor Company, owner of 12 Ford dealerships, climbed 30c or 3.87 per cent to $8.05. Colonial said last week its full-year revenue was down 17 per cent to $754.92m and trading profit fell 21 per cent to $17.3m. It is paying a final dividend of 32c a share on October 5.