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Vista helps NZX50 end week up 1.3%

New Zealand shares edged higher, led by Vista Group International, after a week of strong gains saw the benchmark index climb 1.3%.

Friday, August 27th 2021, 7:12PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 8.17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,059.78. Turnover was $198.5 million.

Vista was the star of the show, climbing 8.4% to $2.46 as investors welcomed a significantly smaller loss due to the company keeping costs low.

The result was a net loss of $2.6m in the six months ended June, narrowing from $43.2m in the previous comparable period.

The cinema software firm said there is now a strong pipeline of blockbuster movies set to be released in 2022, which will hopefully start to bring revenues back to pre-pandemic levels.

Fisher Funds portfolio manager, Sam Dickie said it was a “very strong result”. His firm holds a significant stake in the company, which is now trading just below its post-pandemic highwater mark of $2.50.

Tourism Holdings jumped 4.7% to $2.44 as analysts upgraded the stock against the advice of the company’s management who specifically said their view was too optimistic.

Forsyth Barr upgraded the stock to ‘outperform’ and Jarden reiterated its ‘buy’ rating although it lowered its target price to $2.75.

“We maintain our ‘buy’ rating on valuation grounds and Tourism Holding’s earnings leverage once international borders reopen,” they said in a note.

Air New Zealand didn’t get the same positive review, with Jarden analysts holding onto their ‘sell’ rating with a target price set at almost half of what the market was paying for it.

The airline needs to complete a “high dilutive capital raise” and is still making a material loss with no clear view of when earnings will recover, they said in a note.

Shares in Air NZ dropped 0.7% to $1.49 but remained well above Jarden’s target price of just 85 cents. Auckland Airport also declined 0.7% to $7.07.

Both companies have been knocked by the covid-19 pandemic as international travel all but dried up.

The government today extended the national lockdown until Tuesday night and prime minister Jacinda Ardern signalled Auckland may spend a further fortnight at the higher level 4 setting. Everywhere south of Auckland is due to drop to level 3 late Tuesday night.

So far the government has processed 187,241 applications for the wage subsidy, paying out $759.3m.

A2 Milk Company had a second day as the local stock market’s biggest decliner, dropping another 3.9% to $6.09 as investors and analysts continued to react to its bleak report.

Jarden’s Adrian Allbon said the new chief executive was making a positive change but the infant formula market in China “now looks to have limited growth” and faces stronger domestic competition. 

The infant formula stock was widely bought by the wave of retail investors who joined the market last year while it was running hot, and has been a source of huge disappointment as it has shed 70% of its value in the past 12 months.

Stock market operator NZX dropped 2.2% to $1.82 after reporting first-half earnings yesterday which were broadly in line with expectations – although weaker than the prior year which saw elevated trading levels.

The company is putting new emphasis on its own fund's management business, which it hopes to grow to $35 billion by December 2023, but has gotten off to a slow start.

In currency markets, the kiwi dollar fell after a terrorist attack outside Kabul airport – which killed 60 Afghans and a dozen American soldiers – sent US shares and other risk assets lower.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares down as A2 Milk sheds $600mConsumer stocks led NZX 50 higher »

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Last updated: 23 September 2021 8:11am

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