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Investors switch focus from earnings to macro environment

The local index was mostly flat as it went into the weekend, with earnings season pretty much over and investors now turning their gaze to the wider macro conditions.

Friday, March 3rd 2023, 6:02PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 index edged down by 32.1 points, or 0.3%, to 11,868.79. Turnover was $91.2 million.

Devon Funds head of retail Greg Smith said some of the stand-out companies from the latest earnings season had been Auckland International Airport, A2 Milk, SkyCity and some of the electricity gentailers.

Gentailers had revealed some of the more interesting results out of this earnings season, Smith said.

Although the cyclone and severe weather events had been disastrous for many companies, for gentailers the wet weather had been “quite positive”.

Meridian Energy was down 0.5% to $5.36, while Mercury NZ edged up 0.2% to $6.495, Manawa Energy was up 0.6% to $4.93 and shares in Genesis Energy were flat at $2.895.

Auckland International Airport was down 0.6% to $8.65, while SkyCity fell 2.4% to $2.43 and A2 Milk was up 0.4% to $7.29 today.

Smith said the theme of the whole earnings season had been one of revenues being above expectations more often than not – however, companies were also getting pinched by higher costs, just as individual consumers have been struggling with.

Negative consumer confidence has yet to be matched by spending, which remains relatively buoyant, according to the ANZ-Roy Morgan February survey of households.

Overall consumer confidence was well below the neutral level of 100 points and was “bouncing around the bottom”. 

Smith said consumers weren’t currently feeling “overly optimistic” which was a sign more consumer-focussed stocks could come under a bit more pressure as the year went on.

Retailers like The Warehouse and Briscoe Group were both down, 0.8% to $2.62 and 0.6% to $4.67 respectively, today.

Medicinal cannabis firm Cannasouth released its preliminary full-year results for the year ended Dec 31 on Wednesday. It was up 8.9% to 30.5 cents today.

AFT Pharmaceuticals, which enjoyed a 10% share price bounce yesterday, was flat at $3.72 per share by early evening. 

Pushpay chair Graham Shaw met with the company’s shareholders today after they gathered together at a meeting to vote down his takeover offer.

There were already enough proxy votes cast to block a $1.5 billion scheme of arrangement, which would have resulted in BGH Capital and Sixth Street taking the company private at $1.34 per share. 

However, 30 or so shareholders still showed up in person to cast final votes and grill the board over its support of the doomed deal. 

The trading halt on the company’s stock was lifted this afternoon and Pushpay ended the day down 3.9% to $1.23.

Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 62.29 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, edging down slightly from 62.43 cents at the same time yesterday.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ market noticeably quieter as earnings season endsNZ market starts the week with no real direction »

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