Courier and information management company Freightways raced to a new high as the New Zealand sharemarket lost ground, dragged down by leading stock Fisher and Paykel Healthcare.
Trading opened an hour and a half late because of technical difficulties, and the S&P/NZX 50 Index limped to 12,835.12, down 84.13 points or 0.65 per cent. Volume reached 43.7 million shares worth $162.98 million and there were 82 gainers and 55 decliners over the whole market.
Medical devices exporter Fisher and Paykel Healthcare is no doubt being buffeted by the rising NZ dollar and it fell $1.16 or 3.49 per cent to $32.07 on trade worth $36m. The NZ dollar charged through 71c against the American greenback and was sitting at US71.11c at 5.45pm, after rising from 70.77c during the day.
Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said his firm's analysts had Fisher and Paykel earning a profit of $440m for the 2021 financial year and $405m the following year. "The company has seen huge growth due to Covid-19 and it's unlikely to be maintained at that rate."
Stratful said there is likely to be a market correction within the next three months but it won't be a technical one of more than 10 per cent. "If we see some volatility, the market will be eagerly bought as there is so much cash sitting on the sideline looking for a home. And the market then goes back to where it was."
With Freightways playing Santa Claus and busy delivering Christmas parcels around the country, its share price climbed 14c to hit $10 for the first time and nearly doubling since its year's low of $5.04 on March 16.
Stratful said Freightways has lagged other stocks on price earnings ratio and is playing catch-up. "It's a quality company that is relatively good value compared with the rest of the market – and has a pretty good dividend north of 5 per cent gross."
Contact Energy rose 36c or 4.54 per cent to $8.29 on the day one of the world's biggest investment funds The Vanguard Group, with more than US$6 trillion ($8.4t) assets under management, announced it has taken a substantial shareholding of 5.004 per cent, up from 4.998 per cent.
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Ebos Group continued a good run, rising 44c to $26.64; Skellerup Holdings gained 10c or 3.06 per cent to $3.37; Serko increased 13c or 2.47 per cent to $5.40; Tilt Renewables rose 12c or 2.40 per cent to $5.11; and PGG Wrightson was up 15c or 4.92 per cent to $3.20.
Infratil was down 4c to $7.18; Mercury Energy fell 34c or 5.16 per cent to $6.25; Chorus decreased 14c to $7.80; and Radius Residential Care lost 20c or 11.43 per cent $1.55.
Auckland International Airport fell 17c or 2.09 per cent to $7.95 and Air New Zealand was down 1c to $1.89 despite the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying a transtasman travel bubble would be operating early next year.
Accordant Group, formerly called AWF Madison, and Rakon, which makes advanced frequency control products, had good days, rising 6c or 4.58 per cent to $1.37, and 3c or 6 per cent to 53c respectively.
Manuka honey producer Comvita has sold its remaining shareholding in Sea Dragon, now featuring on the Unlisted Securities Exchange, for $396,000, and Comvita's share price gained 2c to $3.22.
Heartland Group Holdings produced research from Melbourne's RMIT University that concluded nearly 90 per cent of senior Australians wanted to stay in their home for as long as they can, and that reverse mortgages, its speciality, provided a solution for overcoming limited superannuation and rising living costs. Heartland's share price rose 3c to $1.63.