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The Markets

Market ends on a slight upnote after week of poor results

New Zealand stocks ended with a slight gain in stark contrast to major international markets, which rallied sharply on the back of an explosive earnings report from US chip maker Nvidia.

Friday, February 23rd 2024, 6:38PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX50 index ended at 11,719.82 up 29.57 points or a quarter of a percentage point, as a disappointing earnings season continued to weigh on the local market.
There were 89 gains and 50 falls among the 183 stocks traded, on volume of 29.9 million shares (worth $129m).

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index ended up 2.1%, surpassing last week’s record high.

Nvidia closed 16.4% higher on Thursday after its quarterly results and new forecasts far exceeded analyst expectations. The result also rubbed off positively on major European and Asian markets.

Locally, market leaders Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained, up 66 cents to $24.60, and Meridian, up 8 cents at $5.90 and helped mask general weakness.

Manuka honey exporter Comvita rallied 19 cents to $2.44 after the company advised that it been approached with a “highly conditional” offer for the company at a significant premium to the current share price.

“It’s a bit light on detail in terms of the suitor and on the price that they might pay for Comvita,” Jeremy Sullivan, investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Green, said.

“The share has languished considerably over the past year or so,” he added.

“We are in the middle of our reporting season, so the stock-specific news, rather than the macro news, seems to be taking the lead,” Sullivan said.

“The earnings season has been pretty disappointing, and many of the individual company results are weighing on the index as a whole,” he said.

Port of Tauranga reported a 25% decline in first-half earnings, but Sullivan said the second half was looking better.

The company’s earnings guidance looked to be supporting the share price, which ended steady at $5.40.

Auckland International Airport, down 2c at $8.13, and Fletcher Building down 6c at $3.80, gave up some of the gains made on Thursday.

A2 Milk ended 2c down at $6.20 after starting the week at $5.76.

“A2 is a stock that is getting re-rated by brokers here and in Australia,” he said, adding valuations appeared to be north of $6.00.

Hard times in the retail sector were confirmed with data showing retail sales fell by 1.9% in the past three months of 2023, with recreational goods and fashion hit hard.

“It’s not surprising given the experience of KMD Brands and The Warehouse, which is selling Torpedo7 for a dollar,” Sullivan said.

He said high interest rates were clearly making their presence felt on the retail sector.

Exchange operator NZX ended 1c down at $1 after reporting an annual net profit of $13.6m, down 4.3%

NZX said that despite challenging economic conditions globally, the New Zealand market continued to deliver capital-raising capacity – through debt and equity.

Wine exporter Delegat Group rallied by 25c to $6 after reporting largely steady earnings at the operating level, despite tough conditions in the sector.

New Zealand Winegrowers export statistics for the six months showed bottled wine exports were down between 21% and 48% in all major markets.

Looking ahead, results from Summerset, Restaurant Brands and Michael Hill are due on Monday.

Then there is Wednesday’s monetary policy statement from the Reserve Bank.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ sharemarket rises, aided by speculation of Fletcher saleNZ sharemarket flat as earning season rolls on »

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