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NZX50 cracks 12,000 first time ever; Ebos, Auckland Airport earnings lift market

The S&P/NZX 50 Index broke through 12,000 for the first time after Ebos Group and Auckland International Airport reported strong half-year earnings.

Thursday, February 20th 2020, 5:52PM

by BusinessDesk

The benchmark index increased 83.83 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,064.86. Within the index, 27 stocks gained, 15 fell, and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $157.9 million.

Ebos led the market to the new record, rising 3.4 percent to $24.15 on a higher than usual volume of 371,000 shares.

The pharmaceuticals distributor reported a first-half profit of $81.7 million, up from $67 million a year earlier, as the impact of winning the Chemist Warehouse Group contract kicked in from July. It lifted its interim dividend 8.7 percent to 37.5 cents per share.

Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said the result was better than investors had anticipated and impressed them with a strong outlook.

“The group overall are confident of significant increase in earnings in the current financial year, so that’s got the market very excited,” he said.

Auckland International Airport rose 3 percent to $8.60 on a higher than usual volume of 1.3 million shares, after it reported a 2.2 percent lift in first-half underlying profit and trimmed full-year guidance by $5 million due to the covid-19 virus.

McIntyre said underlying profit after tax of $139.9 million - versus $136.9 million a year earlier - was a strong result, especially when viewed in the context of lower expectations.

“They gave a bit of flavour around the importance of China to their earnings, but investors grabbed on to the fact that even though earnings had plateaued a little bit, the outlook was still for consistency in earnings,” he said.

Precinct Properties New Zealand gained 0.8 percent to $1.895 on an above average volume of 3.9 million shares. The company more than doubled its first-half earnings as it booked a $50 million claim against Fletcher Building for delays at Auckland’s Commercial Bay development.

Fletcher rose 3.3 percent to $5.59 on an above average volume of 4.5 million shares. Yesterday, it reported a first-half profit of $82 million, down from $89 million. McIntyre said investors were encouraged by a strong outlook for the 2020 financial year, despite reduced earnings in the latest half.

Spark New Zealand, which yesterday reported a 9.2 percent lift in first-half profit, rose 1.3 percent to $4.84 on above average volumes of 3.9 million shares.

Air New Zealand increased 0.7 percent to $2.73, winning back some of yesterday’s sell-off following the announcement it would reduce flights to Shanghai due to low passenger numbers.

McIntyre said the airline had a solid domestic business, which makes up a large proportion of earnings, and investors were mindful of the 11 percent yield that the stock produces.

Qantas Airways said today it will reduce flights across Asia – including to New Zealand - due to covid-19 raising speculation Air New Zealand could pick up some slack.

Among other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Oceania Healthcare increased 0.8 percent to $1.24, Meridian Energy fell 0.6 percent to $5.645, SkyCity Entertainment Group rose 2.2 percent to $3.77 and Kiwi Property Group held at $1.555.

Tags: Market Close

« Fletcher and Spark earnings settle investorsEarnings season rewards investors »

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AIA 4.55 3.19 3.19 3.49
AIA Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 ▼3.39
ANZ Special - ▼2.55 ▼2.69 ▼2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 3.19 3.19 3.49
ASB Bank Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
Bluestone ▼3.49 ▼3.49 ▼3.49 ▼3.49
BNZ - Classic - ▼2.55 2.69 2.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
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BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
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Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
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Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 4.35 4.45 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.60 2.65 2.80
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HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
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Kiwibank 3.40 3.40 3.54 4.00
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset - - - -
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Last updated: 13 July 2020 7:38am

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