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NZ market doesn't like Mainfreight's update

Logistics company Mainfreight fell more than 3.5% in early day trading after revealing its pace of revenue and earnings growth had started to slow in the December quarter.

Thursday, February 9th 2023, 6:27PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 index fell 93.2 points, or 0.8%, to 12,118.67. Turnover was $123.5 million.

Mainfreight warned of slipping growth in its US and Asia operations, which accounted for about 35% of the logistics group's revenue.  

Pre-tax profit lifted 32% to $490.2m in the 43 weeks ended Dec 31. Total group revenue was up 17% at $4.82 billion, compared with $4.13b in the previous period. 

The stock ended the day down 3% to $74.60. Jeremy Sullivan, an investment advisor with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said Mainfreight’s quarterly update had shown things were starting to look less peachy for the freight sector.

“Freight bottlenecks are easing, prices are falling and the alternatives of transportation are eating into the very high margins,” he said.

An undersubscribed New Zealand government bond tender was also the big news to hit the market today, Sullivan said.

He told BusinessDesk that the nominal bond tender had been offered for $200m and was undersubscribed at $188m. It's only the second time in the last 10 years that a government bond offer had been undersubscribed. The government offer was competing with an ANZ Bank bond offering that had a similar tenure and length of time.

ANZ Bank’s bond offering was $500m and had an annual interest rate of 5.22% over five years, compared with the government’s 4.5% interest rate and four-year cut-off mark.

Rival logistics company Freightways also edged down, falling 1.6% to $9.42. South Port's first-half profit fell 12% due to a downturn in the log market and reduced fertiliser volumes. The stock was flat at $8.20 today.

Dairy co-op Fonterra and Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions said they are working together to reduce CO2 emissions in dairy production using heat pump technology for steam generation.

Fonterra edged down 0.3% to $3.23 today. A2 Milk fell 0.7% to $7.48 and Synlait dropped 2.3% to $3.46.

Medicinal cannabis company Rua Bioscience was up 6% to 19.3 cents after it announced Paul Naske had been appointed chief executive and will step into the role in March.

“I’m incredibly proud to take the lead at Rua as we enter an exciting new phase of commercialisation,” Naske said in a statement. 

“It’s an honour to lead a team dedicated to improved patient health and with a strong commitment to social enterprise.”

Interim managing director Anna Stove will return to chair the Rua board after Trevor Burt announced his retirement. 

Cannasouth was up by 3.5% to 30 cents, and Greenfern fell 1.1% to 8.7 cents.

Insurer Tower was down 1.5% to 67 cents after it told the market today that 3,600 of its customers had lodged 4,810 policy claims. 

Approximately 2,660 of these claims were for home insurance and about 740 motor-related, with the balance mostly being for contents.

The NZ dollar was trading at 63.09 US cents at 3pm in Wellington today, down from 63.23 US cents at the same time on Wednesday.

Tags: Market Close

« Freightways edges up on ASX-listing plansNZ King Salmon shares bounce up almost 10% »

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