Market close: Mainfreight’s next stop, $62?

The New Zealand sharemarket resumed normal service with the energy stocks and other heavyweights making useful gains and pushing the leading index higher.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index was up 59.92 points or 0.48 per cent to 12,501.74. Trading increased later in the day, with 55.03 million shares worth $168.96 million changing hands, and there were 92 gainers and 49 decliners over the whole market.

Lately, trading has been choppy with quality stocks surprisingly being hit as investors looked for other value. But the quality stocks came to the fore again.

Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said “buoyancy prevails and we should have a reasonable run-in to Christmas. The month of December is usually positive, as long as the United States doesn’t break down into lockdown with the rising Covid cases.

“Interestingly, we are seeing some expectation of interest rates beginning to creep up – the one, five and 10-year swap rates are up – and this may affect the interest rate-sensitive companies,” Stratful said.

Fisher and Paykel was up 24c to $32.90 on trade worth $13.7m. Mainfreight rose $1.35 or 2.31 per cent to $59.85 and Stratful said: “”I think its next stop is $62 – it’s a quality stock that continues to perform well. Mainfreight has added more than 100 new customers, it is doing things right and gaining on competitors who have dropped the ball.”

Port of Tauranga, gaining more business at the expense of Ports of Auckland’s cargo congestion, rose 16c or 2.24 per cent to $7.31; Ebos Group increased 26c to $25.26; Fletcher Building climbed another 14c or 2.58 per cent $5.56; Freightways rose 16c to $9.30; and Summerset Group Holdings was up 29c or 2.76 per cent to $10.80.

Fellow retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare continued to fall, losing 44c or 2.91 per cent to $14.69, after reporting a steady result last week. Chorus was down 8c to $8.48 and a2 Milk decreased 23c to $14.36. New listing Harmoney fell a further 7c to $3.63.

Synlait, 20 per cent owned by a2 Milk, rose 11c or 1.97 per cent to $5.69; seafood company Sanford gained 10c or 2.04 per cent to $5.01;and Air New Zealand climbed 4.5 or 2.64 per cent to $1.75.

The energy stocks had a good day, the best of them Genesis rising 12c or 3.81 per cent to $3.27. Meridian was up 10.5c to $5.99, Trustpower gained 10c to $7.68, Mercury increased 3c to $5.83, Contact moved 3c to $7.75 and Vector was up 3c to $4.29.

Early childhood education firm, Evolve Education, was the day’s biggest mover, rising 1.9c or 13.10 per cent to 16.4c after sitting at 9.5c on November 2.

Another strong mover later Z Energy gained 6c or 1.82 per cent to $3.36. Stratful said Z Energy bottomed out at $2.70, and was now having encouraging monthly volumes. “Once the market gets clarity on its dividend policy – it has double digit dividend yield – it could be one of the stocks to watch.”

Two property companies reported their latest first half results. Kiwi Property, which has $3.2 billion assets including Sylvia Park shopping centre, fell 1.5c to $1.26 after its operating profit, before tax, decreased 84 per cent to $55.2m for the six months ending September. It is paying an interim dividend of 2.2c a share on December 18.

Goodman Property Trust, with a $3.3b Auckland warehouse and logistic portfolio, lost 2c to $2.395 after its operating profit, before tax, fell from $236.4m to $186.4m. Goodman’s revenue was up 3.8 per cent to $87.3m, while Kiwi Property’s fell 5.1 per cent to $112.19 compared with the previous corresponding period.

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