Market close: NZ sharemarket gains more than 1 per cent

The changing fortunes of two longtime favourites Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and a2 Milk continue to impact the New Zealand sharemarket, which impressively gained more than one per cent.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index had a late surging, rising 137.70 points or 1.10 per cent to 12,656.42 moving up from an intraday low to 12,510.41. There were 78 gainers and 61 decliners over the whole market, with 53 million shares worth $211.1 million changing hands.

With the renewable energy stocks Contact and Meridian, Fisher and Paykel and a2 Milk have been the most volatile stocks lately and this time they had positive days.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rose $1.22 or 3.79 per cent to $33.39, on trade worth $21.57m after giving up 3.74 per cent the day before. The a2 Milk Company, struggling with the daigou sales channel, gained 32c or 3.73 per cent to $8.89 after reaching a low of $8.36 last week – a long distance from its high of $21.50 in mid-August last year.

Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said Fisher and Paykel is one of the most liquid stocks on the market and fund managers can move money around day to day if they need to.

“There’s so much KiwiSaver money flowing in each month and some of that will find its way to Fisher and Paykel,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the a2 Milk share price has bottomed out, and there is buying interest in the stock ahead of a pick-up in the daigou channel.”

Contact Energy and Meridian again led the individual trading by value. Contact climbed 22c or 3.22 per cent to $7.37 on trade worth $29.56m, and Meridian gained 17c or 3.02 per cent to $5.79 with 28.17m worth of its shares changing hands.

Mercury increased 5c to $6.80; Genesis Energy was up 7c or 2.11 per cent to $3.38; and Trustpower continued a strong run, rising 3c to $8.52.

Retirement village operators Ryman Healthcare increased 13c to $15, and Summerset Group Holdings gained 5c to $12.05. Restaurant Brands climbed 19c to $13.20; Pacific Edge picked up 4c or 3.48 per cent to $1.19; and My Food Bag collected 3c or 1.86 per cent to $1.64.

Amongst the decliners, Freightways was down 8c to $11.22; Pushpay Holdings fell 4c or 2.03 per cent to $193; Fletcher Building fell 6c to $7.11; Infratil shed 8.5c to $6.895; Evolve Education lost 3c or 2.31 per cent to $1.27; and Smartpay decreased 3c or 3.09 per cent to 94c.

Fitch revised the outlook of Westpac and ANZ’s long-term issuer default rating from negative to stable and their share prices firmed. ANZ increased 10c to $31.25, but Westpac was down 5c to $27.33.

Manuka honey producer Comvita upgraded its full-year operating earnings (Ebitda) to $22.5m-$25.5m), from $20m-$23m because of growth in the China and North America markets, offsetting challenges in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Comvita said its latest honey harvest was below average but the quality and control of costs means it will deliver a small contribution to the group’s profit. Comvita’s share price increased 14c or 4.39 per cent to $3.33.

Stratful said Comvita has shown positive moves in the last two quarters and is picking up momentum after a tough three to four years.

Automation and robotics specialist Scott Technology continues to roll out new contracts, this time a $10m lamb boning system, with advanced X-ray and vision, for meat processor Thomas Foods International at its Tamworth plan in New South Wales. Scott’s share price slipped 2c to $2.50.

SkyCity Entertainment fell 4c to $3.43 after telling the market it will no longer deal with junket operators who bring players to the casino. Following a review of the International Business division and tougher compliance rules, SkyCity will deal directly with patrons when due diligence is completed.

Financial technology firm PaySauce’s processing fee revenue has increased 42 per cent to $526,000 over the past year and total recurring revenue is up 30 per cent to $558,000, with 3377 payroll business customers totalling 17,964 employees. PaySauce’s share price edged ahead 0.005c or 1.69 per cent to 30c.

Argosy Property sold its Hastings Omahu Rd industrial property slightly below the $10.7m book value at $10.4m, and its share price gained 1c to $1.45. Other property companies Goodman Trust increased 4.5c or 1.98 per cent to $2.315, Precinct was up 1.5c to $1.655, and Property for Industry edged ahead 1c to $2.82.

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