Market close: NZ shares finish solid month with another gain

The New Zealand sharemarket finished a solid month with another small gain, and battered blue chip stock Ryman Healthcare staged a strong rebound.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index was up 14.77 points or 0.12 per cent to 12,654.60, after fluctuating between an intraday high of 12,677.51 and 12,623.45.

There were 99 gainers and just 35 decliners over the whole market on heavy volume of 82.76 million share transactions worth $208.11 million.

The leading index increased 2.7 per cent during June, and it was up 0.7 per cent for the quarter but down 3.4 per cent for the year to date, underperforming offshore markets.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index, up 0.46 per cent to 7334.6 points (at 5.45pm NZ time), has increased nearly 3 per cent for the month, nine per cent for the quarter and 14 per cent for the year to date.

“The June month has been quite big for the local market,” said Shane Solly, portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management. “Our utilities and growth stocks have done well, and we have taken leads for the US where the Treasury bond yield has gone down.”

Ryman Healthcare, the country’s biggest retirement village operator and sixth largest local market cap stock, rose 31c or 2.42 per cent to $13.13. It had fallen from $15.95 in mid-March to $12.61 on June 8. Fellow operator Summerset Group Holdings was up 10c to $13.41.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare lost ground, falling 63c or 1.98 per cent to $31.12; Contact Energy was down 6c to $8.28; a2 Milk shed 9c to $6.44; Comvita declined 5c to $3.45; and AMP decreased 4c or 3.2 per cent to $1.21.

Solly said a couple of Australian brokers changed their views on infant formula sales in China and provided some support for a2 Milk. But people are still anxious about where the company will end up – there’s still plenty of water to go under the bridge.

Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, which recently hit a low of $3.65, climbed 19c or 5.11 per cent to $3.91 on the back of a strong June global dairy update. Fonterra’s New Zealand milk collection for the season ending May 31 increased 1.5 per cent to 1539 million kgs of milk solids, and monthly exports had risen across all global regions.

Retailer Kathmandu Holdings recovered 5c or 3.21 per cent to $1.61 after telling the market the previous day that group sales were impacted by store closures in the lockdown areas of Australia.

Other gainers were Fletcher Building up 9c to $7.52; Mercury Energy rising 12c or 1.83 per cent to $6.67; Genesis increasing 5c to $3.40; Meridian collecting 5c to $5.33; and Z Energy up 5c or 1.86 per cent to $2.74.

Gentrack gained 6c or 3 per cent to $2.06; Evolve Education was up 4c or 4.6 per cent to 91c; The Colonial Motor Company picked up 15c to $9.20; EROAD rose 16c or 2.63 per cent to $6.25; Allied Farmers increased 4c or 6.9 per cent to 62c; and personal lender Harmoney had a surge, rising 15c or 10.14 per cent to $1.63.

Sky Network Television increased 0.003c to 17.4c following news that it has received unsolicited offers and has appointed investment and advisory group Jarden to help review potential opportunities. Sky TV has extended its broadcasting rights with New Zealand Rugby League and National Rugby League through to 2027.

Me Today has completed the $36m purchase of King Honey and its share price fell 0.005c or 5.10 per cent to 9.3c. Me Today paid $21m in cash and issued $10m in new shares, at 8.8c a share, to King Honey owner Terry Jarvis and his family trust.

Genetics seedling company ArborGen Holdings surged 5c or 23.26 per cent to 26.5c after telling the market it is starting a strategic review following a takeover offer, which the board said “materially undervalued the company.”

ArborGen said the review would consider all options to unlock value for shareholders. The company is the largest commercial seedling supplier for the forestry industry globally, with 18 nurseries, 12 seed-producing orchards and total production capacity of 540 million seedlings annually.

Enprise Group is buying the intellectual property of Very Impressive Software which provides products to small and medium businesses. The purchase will add more than $200,000 in recurring revenue, and Enprise’s share price was unchanged at $2.95.

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