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NZ shares rise as Pushpay climbs to new heights

New Zealand shares rose, led by Pushpay Holdings, as the mobile payments app developer soared to new heights after signalling it was in for more growth.

Wednesday, May 6th 2020, 7:17PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 82.11 points, or 0.8 percent, to 10,572.84. Within the index 24 stocks rose, 25 fell, and one was unchanged. Turnover was $142.5 million, of which Pushpay accounted for $20.8 million.

Pushpay jumped 20.9 percent to a record $5.50 after saying it expects its rapid pace of growth to continue, forecasting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and foreign exchange movements of between US$48 million and US$52 million in the March 2021 year. It reported ebitdaf of $25.1 million with revenue up 33 percent.

The company has been one to benefit from the covid–19 outbreak, as restrictions on public gatherings have seen more American churchgoers turn to its digital platform to pay tithes and make donations to churches. Its share price has risen 36.8 percent year-to-date, against a market down about 8 percent during the same period.

“The Pushpay result was the highlight of the day. It came in at the low end of expectations but gave very strong forward guidance which will have excited a number of growth investors,” said Matthew Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.

“It has been a remarkably strong performer, but there had been questions going in around how a massive spike in unemployment would impact church attendance and donations. But that appears to have been more than offset.” 

Pushpay said it is targeting more than 50 percent of medium and large churches, a market which could be worth more than US$1 billion.

Kathmandu Holdings rose for a second day, up 9.6 percent to 91 cents, continuing to bounce after highlighting strong online sales and yesterday announcing the reopening of Australian stores.

“That has had two strong days, investors are relieved there are positive signs for the business,” Goodson said. Kathmandu’s share price is up 16.8 percent this week, although less than half the $2.30 it was at the start of the year.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 3.6 percent to $28.80, coming back from a decline yesterday and joining a rally among healthcare stocks on the Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index.

Tourism Holdings rose 0.7 percent to $1.36. The Australian and New Zealand governments are investigating ways to reopen the trans-Tasman border, which many tourism operators say is vital for their survival.

Goodson said while the prospect of a trans-Tasman bubble may be encouraging for investors, the company's market went beyond New Zealand and Australia. 

“They have traditionally relied on long-stay North American and European markets, and they have sizable Australian and US businesses. So, it is not just about what rules change when in New Zealand for them,” he said.

Air New Zealand increased 0.4 percent to $1.255 and Auckland International Airport declined 0.5 percent to $5.83.

Property stocks continued to lag behind the market. Goodson said investors are concerned about capitalisation rates - the ratio of operating income to property assets - as landlords face an uncertain rental outlook, particularly for retail properties.

Kiwi Property Group dropped 2.1 percent to 93 cents, Argosy Property fell 1.9 percent to $1.04, Goodman Property Trust declined 1.3 percent to $2.23, Investore Property fell 0.6 percent to $1.69  and Property For Industry slipped 0.2 percent to $2.23.

Skellerup Holdings posted the biggest decline, down 2.5 percent at $1.92.

Outside the benchmark index, Smiths City Group fell 1.5 percent to 12.9 cents after announcing a restructuring that will result in the closure of some stores and job losses. The retailer is anticipating subdued trading conditions once stores reopen.

Cancer screening company TruScreen jumped 14.8 percent to 7 cents after announcing it had expanded into four new hospitals in China and will add five more during May.

Tags: Market Close

« Investors find hope in a trans-Tasman bubbleLevel 2 details boost Tourism Holdings, Restaurant Brands »

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