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Auckland airport shares return to previous highs

Auckland International Airport neared a 45-month high and Pushpay’s takeover was approved by shareholders on an otherwise quiet day on the New Zealand sharemarket.

Thursday, April 27th 2023, 6:50PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index had a choppy session, trading between a low of 11,909.78 and high of 11,957.97 before closing at 11,918.22 – down 16.76 points or 0.14%.

There were 65 gainers and 74 decliners on the main board, with 33.42 million shares worth $109.43m changing hands.

Shareholders at the special meeting voted 93.7% in favour of investment firms Sixth Street and BGH Capital taking over software company Pushpay Holdings at $1.42 per share. Pushpay last traded at $1.41.

Matt Goodson, managing director of Salt Funds Management, said Pushpay’s market was in the United States and listed in NZ and a takeover was always going to happen one day.

The takeover is worth $1.6 billion and settlement is expected by the end of May. Goodson said some of that money will be reinvested and be a supportive force for the NZ market.

A lot of shares, however, are held by overseas arbitrage funds, which bought after the first takeover bid was made.

While the local market was flat, Goodson said there is an underlying concern about the state of the economy and what it means for company earnings forecasts.

The market should learn more when companies take advantage of next week’s important Macquarie sharebroking conference in Australia to announce their latest outlooks.

Confidence flat

Business confidence and expected own activity were all but unchanged in April, with falling inflation signals gaining traction, said ANZ. The bank’s latest survey showed firms' views on their own selling prices in three months eased for every sector except manufacturing and services, and fell dramatically for retail.

Firms' expected costs in three months were also in a general downtrend, and the economy-wide measure fell from 3.4% to 3.1%.

Auckland International Airport increased 4c to $8.82 and topped the individual trading list for the second day running, with trade worth $14.67m as speculation mounts over whether Auckland Council will sell all or some of its 18.08% shareholding.

On Thursday, the airport traded as high as $8.96 and breached its recent high of $8.94 set on March 23. Its all-time peak was $9.62 achieved on August 1, 2019.

Air NZ, unchanged at 77c, upgraded its full-year earnings guidance to $510m-$560m, from $450m-$530m, because of a fall in jet fuel prices and continued strong passenger demand (reaching 95% of pre-covid domestic capacity and 80% of international). Cargo revenue has softened.

The national airline carried 1.625m passengers in March, well up on the 624,000 in the same month last year and just short of the 1.836m in March 2019.

Goodson said the earnings upgrade and passenger numbers were not surprising and the market was already there in terms of Air NZ’s share price. “The question is whether the strength of the passenger numbers will be sustained, because there’s a lot of deferred travel involved due to covid.”

It was all quiet on the Synlait-a2 Milk front. Synlait was unchanged at $1.56, after falling 27% the day before following a $20m downgrade in its full-year net profit guidance. A2 Milk was down 3c to $5.87.

Meridian gained 5c to $5.22; Manawa Energy increased 7c to $4.95; Skellerup Holdings was up 8c to $4.88; and Restaurant Brands added 12c to $7.30.

Move Logistics was up 3c or 3.53% to 88c; Smartpay Holdings increased 3.5c or 2.51% to $1.43; NZX improved 2c or 1.75% to $1.16; and Carbon Fund collected 4c or 2.14% to $1.91.

In the property sector, Kiwi gained 1.5c to 90c, and Argosy gained 2c or 1.8% to $1.13.

In retail, Hallenstein Glasson increased 10c or 1.74% to $5.84; KMD Brands was up 2c or 1.82% to $1.12; and Briscoe Group declined 16c or 3.38% to $4.58.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, down 27c to $27.24, has received Overseas Investment Office approval to buy a 105ha site in Karaka for $275m. Fisher and Paykel will build a second campus on the property over the next 30 to 40 years.

Chorus was down 6.5c to $8.65; Ryman Healthcare declined 5c to $5.23; Genesis Energy decreased 5.5c or 1.99% to $2.71; and Scales Corp shed 6c or 1.88% to $3.14.

Ventia Services decreased 5c to $2.87; AFT Pharmaceuticals was down 6c to $3.39; and Vista Group fell 6c or 4.58% to $1.25.

South Port NZ was down 11c to $7.85. Chair Rex Chapman is retiring at the end of October and will be replaced by current director Philip Cory-Wright.

Rua Bioscience, up 0.004c or 2.27% to 18c, has launched a medicinal cannabis product in Germany, becoming the first NZ company to introduce such a branded medicine in Europe’s largest market.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ market down following Synlait profit downgradeNZ sharemarket lifts after positive news from the US »

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