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a2 Milk drives NZ shares higher

New Zealand's benchmark equities index rose on Monday as the United States looked down under for solutions to its critical shortage of infant formula, sending A2 Milk up more than 10%.

Monday, May 30th 2022, 7:40PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 80 points, or 0.7%, to 11,145.50. Turnover was $148 million.

Shares in infant formula maker Bubs Australia soared today after the Australian company struck a deal to export its products to the US, which has been struck with a shortage.

US President Joe Biden announced the deal in a tweet this weekend saying the company would deliver 27.5 million bottles, the equivalent of the 1.25m cans reported by Bubs.

Dual-listed infant formula exporter A2 Milk is similar enough to Bubs that the two stocks often trade in sync with one another.

The news that Bubs had found a way to enter the notoriously difficult American market was well received by A2 investors, who bid the stock up 10.2% to $5.17.

Both Fonterra and A2 Milk have also applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval to supply infant formula to the nation, which has eased its onerous rules and regulations to allow more formula to be imported.

If A2 Milk were able to establish itself in the US market, it would be a boon for the company, which had its export route to China collapse during the pandemic.

Milk processing companies saw a less impressive share price bump, with Synlait Milk up just 0.9% at $3.43 and Fonterra Shareholder Fund Units unchanged at $2.85. Fonterra today acknowledged “concern about the decline" in its farmer-only share price over recent weeks and said it will more actively support liquidity. At Friday’s closing price of $2.28, the shares were collectively worth just half of the $7.4b they were worth the day before the cooperative announced its capital restructuring.

Cinema software company, Vista Group International rose 6% to $1.63 having upgraded an existing client in Latin America to its new Vista Cloud platform. This client will become Vista’s largest once the agreement is fully rolled out. The company wants to move 35% of its customers to Vista Cloud by 2025.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare climbed 3.3% to $20.15, with investors still playing tug of war over its appropriate valuation post-covid, and Pacific Edge dropped 10.4% to 69 cents.

The cancer testing company reported somewhat softer-than-hoped results last week and investors are losing interest in buying growth stocks that aren’t delivering on targets.

Import-export software provider Trade Window dropped 8.2% to $1.12 after it said it will need to raise $10m of new capital by September to fund its fast-growth strategy. The company, which is essentially a listed startup company, gave its first full year report since listing in November.

Its trading revenue has grown 136% to $3.9m but it posted a $10.8m net loss with operational expenses up 76% at $14.4m.

Arvida Group dropped 1.3% to $1.57 despite lifting net profit by 52%, helped by its $345 million Arena acquisition performing better than expected.

Radius Residential Care rose 2.8% to 37 cents, having reported total income up 7.8% at $135.9m and net profit up 57% at $2.7 million.

The NZ dollar was trading at 65.49 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, up from 65.04 cents on Friday. The trade-weighted index was at 72.57, up from 72.34.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ shares slide into the weekendPacific Edge leads NZ shares higher »

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