Market close: F&P Healthcare gives sharemarket a nudge

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, the number one stock on capitalisation, gave the New Zealand sharemarket a nudge along after reporting a better-than-expected half year financial result.

The market leader climbed to its highest price in 11 weeks, rising $1.58 or 4.91 per cent to $33.78 on trade worth $43.31 million – and the S&P/NZX 50 Index increased 27.82 points or 0.22 per cent to 12,794.61, following a 0.62 per cent rise the day before.

There were 72 gainers and 78 decliners over the whole market on strong trading of 46.48 million share transactions worth $203.04m, with Fisher and Paykel making a fifth of the volume.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare struck revenue of $900m and net profit of $221.8m for the six months ending September, with the hospital division earning $670m and homecare $227m. It is paying an interim dividend of 17c a share on December 15.

Greg Main, Jarden Wealth Management adviser, said Fisher and Paykel’s solid result brought a better tone to the market – the big stocks always help sentiment and the interest rate-sensitive shares even had a bounce-back.

“Fisher and Paykel was always going to be a difficult one as it had such big demand for its hospital hardware equipment when the Covid pandemic hit. But its sales are still on the upside, they have made some cost savings, and analysts may have misread the forecast a bit. And the fact they are spending money on development is a positive medium-term signal,” Main said.

The medical devices supplier is investing $700m in land and buildings over the next five years, including building a second New Zealand campus. Fisher and Paykel is also planning to add three manufacturing facilities outside New Zealand, including one already being built in Mexico.

Chorus rose 18c or 2.80 per cent to $6.60; Ryman Healthcare increased 5c to $12.25; and Mercury Energy was up 11.5c or 1.93 per cent to $6.065. But Meridian declined 16c or 3.35 per cent to $4.561.

Freightways gained 15c to $12.40; Sky Network Television recovered 3c to $1.76; new listing Ventia Services Group was up 8c or 3.52 per cent to $2.35; and South Port New Zealand collected 18c or 2.03 per cent to $9.05.

Among retailers Michael Hill International was down 3c or 2.38 per cent to $1.23; and Kathmandu Holdings, which held its annual meeting, also declined 3c or 1.92 per cent to $1.53.

Gentrack, a software provider for airports and utilities, rebounded 20c or 11.76 per cent to $1.90 after reporting much-improved annual result with revenue up 5.16 per cent to $105.72m and turning around the previous year’s loss of $31.7m to net profit of $3.19m.

Online travel provider Serko plunged 98c or 12.48 per cent to $6.87 after receiving a downgrade from one broker. Serko completed its $75m placement at $7.05 a share and will now undertake a $10m retail offer, with an eye to buying a global travel tech company. It has fallen from $8.32 on September 3.

Rakon slipped 2c to $1.78 after having a strong run-up to its half-year result that saw net profit triple to $18.92m on increased revenue of $85.41m, up 43 per cent. Rakon said there was strong demand in 5G networks and data centre equipment and has secured new business because of the worldwide chip shortage.

Pacific Edge was down 8c or 5.8 per cent to $1.30 after reporting a 66 per cent rise in revenue to $6.7m, mainly from the US, for the six months ending September, and a net loss of $9m, a 27 per improvement on the previous corresponding period.

Other decliners were a2 Milk, down 20c or 3.03 per cent to $6.40; Summerset Group Holdings shedding 11c to $13.19; DGL Group falling 18c or 6.59 per cent to $2.55; EROAD decreasing 10c or 1.92 per cent to $5.10; and Solution Dynamics losing 16c or 5.37 per cent to $2.82.

My Food Bag fell 4c or 3.2 per cent to $1.21; Argosy Property was down 3.5c or 2.34 per cent to $1.46; AFT Pharmaceuticals shed 11c or 2.22 per cent to $4.84; and Harmoney declined 5c or 2.5 per cent to $1.95.

Stride Property went into a trading halt after launching a $120m capital raise, including $100m placement at $2 a share and a $20m retail offer. Stride reported half year net profit of $61.51m, up 19.37 per cent, and revenue of $42.86m, up 27.73 per cent. It last traded at $2.21.

Dunedin-based Scott Technology is building the world’s first automated beef boning system for the Australian market in partnership with protein producer Teys and Meat & Livestock Australia in a contract worth A$18m ($18.84m). The system is designed to process 200 carcasses an hour. Scott’s share price was up 1c to $3.28.

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