Global transport and logistics operator Mainfreight touched an historic intraday high of $60 a share before falling late in the day after producing yet another solid financial result. Overall the New Zealand market took a breather from its wild ride over the past two days.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index closed 53.24 points or 0.42 per cent ahead at 12,665.63, after reaching an intraday high of 12,761.87. Volume was solid at 67.9 million share transactions worth $212.42 million, and there were 73 gainers and 71 decliners over the whole market.
Mainfreight reported its gross profit was up 23.4 per cent or $19.42m to $102.26m for the six months ending September and it is paying an interim dividend of 30c a share on December 18. The company told the market to expect an improved 2021 full-year financial result.
Its revenue increased 7.2 per cent or $108.39m to $1.61 billion for the six months ending September – with the offshore business making up 76.4 per cent of the total revenue.
Mainfreight's share price reached $60.10 before giving back all its gain in the late trading, closing 45c down at $57.75. The previous stock to top $60 on the local market was The New Zealand Refining Company in the early 2000s. The darling of the day reached $66 before it made a 10 for one share split in October 2005, and incredibly it now trades at 57c, after falling 2c or 3.39 per cent.
Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said there are some pretty good corporate results out there at the moment and "we are seeing a whole rotation going on with the Covid-sensitive laggards catching up at the expense of the high-growth stocks."
He said the recovery in corporate earnings shows the economy is not too bad at all. "With the interest rates falling so low, the Reserve Bank may have gone too deep with its economic stimulus and is driving the sharemarket and housing market instead."
The Reserve Bank kept the official cash rate at 0.25 per cent, left its Government bond buying cap at $100 billion, and will roll out the funding for lending programme next month, aimed at lowering interest costs by offering cheap funding to banks.
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After its mauling the day before, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rose 63c or 1.94 per cent to $33.06 on trade worth $39.5m, while Pushpay Holdings continued to decline, falling 37c or 4.63 per cent to $7.63 after reaching a high of $9.40 on October 14.
Ryman Healthcare gained 50c or 3.23 per cent to $16, and Fletcher Building, Z Energy and NZME – three of those stocks with improving earnings – continued their strong runs. Fletcher rose 10c or 1.93 per cent to $5.29, Z Energy was up 8c or 2.58 per cent to $3.18, and NZME gained 9c or 13.43 per cent to 76c.
Synlait Milk announced its institutional capital raising of $180m has been completed after its placement was fully subscribed at $5.10 a share, and when trading resumed in the afternoon its price fell 53c or 8.94 per cent to $5.40. Synlait is also undertaking a $20m share purchase plan with existing shareholders.
Abano Healthcare said its takeover offer from Australian investment firm BGH Capital and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has been increased from $4.75 to $5.20 a share, and Abano's share price surged 56c or 12.9 per cent to $4.90.
Sky Network Television provided a second improved earnings guidance and its share price increased 1c or 6.67 per cent to 16c. Following strong trading in the first four months, Sky TV revised its 2021 full-year revenue to $680m-$710m from $660m-$700m, and operating earnings (ebitda) to $140m-$155m from $125m-$140m because of higher-than-expected growth in direct satellite customers.
Medical cannabis firm Rua Bioscience fell 4c or 7.14 per cent to 52c after recently listing at 50c.