Market close: Vista Group big mover as sharemarket rises

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare conducted the heavy lifting and led the New Zealand sharemarket to a gain of half a per cent. Outside of Fisher and Paykel’s hard work, the market was in a holding pattern, awaiting the latest round of company financial results.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index picked up 69.06 points or 0.55 per cent to 12,715.20 on steady volume of 34.8 million share transactions worth $170.67 million. There were 49 gainers and 76 decliners over the whole market of 185 stocks.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare made up 34 per cent of the day’s trading with $50.58m worth of its shares changing hands. The medical devices supplier rose 71c or 1.99 per cent to $36.46, and nearing its high of $37.68. It has risen $3.46 or about 8 per cent in the past week.

Shane Solly, portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management, said investors are waiting the reporting season over the next three weeks, with companies having a March 31 financial year reporting their annual results.

“The local market is fully priced and it needs reasonable corporate earnings to keep providing fuel,” he said. “The market was also underpinned by the latest business confidence statistics.

“The United States Federal Reserve confirmed it is keeping its monetary policy easy and the US economy is recovering strongly, so there is a mix of ingredients supporting the equity market.”

Business confidence jumped six points in April to a net -2 per cent and companies’ own activity lifted six points to +22 per cent, according to the ANZ survey.

The bank said the solid bounce indicates that firms are feeling pretty upbeat, and that the recent housing market policy changes are not expected to dent broader activity. “Overall, the robustness of the data is starting to challenge our view that the economy will go largely sideways this year.”

Z Energy, the first to report next week, rose 9c 3.54 per cent to $2.63 after a broker re-rated the stock to a buy. The broker is expecting an earnings recovery by Z Energy in the 2022 financial year with the demand for jet fuel increasing because of the transtasman travel bubble and Refining NZ’s move to become an import, rather than refinery, terminal.

Cinema software firm Vista Group also made one of the bigger moves, rising 7c or 3.04 per cent to $2.37. Solly said more movie theatres were re-opening in the US and Europe and there is a stronger level of moviegoers than expected – “people are keen to see the good films.”

Beleaguered a2 Milk found buying support, increasing 13c or 1.73 per cent to $7.65. All eyes will be on a2 Milk trading Friday and whether the passive investment funds continue selling prior to the rebalancing of the MSCI global index.

Ebos Group rose 90c or 3.10 per cent to $29.95; Mainfreight went higher, gaining $1.09 to $71.39; Skellerup Holdings was up 7c to $4.71; Auckland International Airport increased 11c to $7.53; Serko collected 13c or 1.94 per cent to $6.83; and Comvita was up 15c or 4.35 per cent to $3.60.

Infratil gained 5c to $7.05 after reporting a further prospective investment, this time a majority 50.1 per cent to 60 per cent shareholding in Pacific Radiology Group for $350m. Pacific is the largest private diagnostic imaging provider in New Zealand, with 46 clinics and 90 radiologists.

Amongst small cap stocks, CDL Investments gained 2.5c or 2.28 per cent to $1.12; Foley Wines was up 8c or 4.68 per cent to $1.79; and Gentrack rose 7c or 4.76 per cent to $1.54.

Summerset Group Holdings fell 24c or 1.94 per cent to $12.15, and Ryman Healthcare was down 16c to $13.89, its lowest price since mid-July last year.

Summerset told shareholders at the annual meeting that it was expecting consent for its first Australian retirement village in Cranbourne North, Melbourne. The first residents will move in at the start of next year, and Summerset said Australia was an important area of growth.

Amongst the energy stocks, Mercury fell 15c or 2.17 per cent to $6.75, Vector was down 8c or 1.92 per cent to $4.09, while Contact was up 7c to $7.60 and Genesis gained 7.5c or 2.23 per cent to $3.435.

Synlait Milk slipped 5c to $3.31; Restaurant Brands declined 9c to $13; Tourism Holdings shed 7c or 2.59 per cent to $2.63; Evolve Education decreased 4c or 3.28 per cent to $1.18; and Smartpay Holdings was down 4c or 4.21 per cent to 91c.

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