Market close: Mainfreight surges to new high

Leading retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare reported record sales, a2 Milk rebounded, and a more positive New Zealand sharemarket picked up more than 1 per cent as worries about widespread Chinese regulation eased.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed 133.53 points or 1.06 per cent to a day’s high of 12,728.85, after reaching a low of 12,595.32.

There were 67 gainers and 63 decliners over the whole market, with 40.55 million shares worth $155.91 million changing hands.

Jeremy Sullivan, investment adviser with Hamilton Hindin Greene, said there was a feeling that the sell-off in Chinese companies listed on the United States market was overdone and the recent China government regulation moves weren’t going to spread to every stock.

On Wall Street overnight, the technology sector rebounded on record quarterly earnings posted by Apple (revenue US$75.3 trillion or NZ$108.11t) and Microsoft (US$46.2t), and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.7 per cent to 14,762.58. Leading Chinese tech stocks Alibaba increased 6.71 per cent and Tencent Holdings rose 8.36 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index were down 0.36 per cent and 0.019 per cent respectively after the Federal Reserve hinted it was getting closer to tightening its monetary policy.

Sullivan said the local market was treading water awaiting next month’s earnings season, and there was a lot of interest in how a2 Milk is resolving its daigou sales channel and managing its overall business.

Global marketer a2 Milk recovered 15c or 2.35 per cent to $6.52, and sister company Synlait was up 6c to $3.76.

Ryman Healthcare, whose share price has fallen from nearly $16 over the past four months, came alive, rising 49c or 3.93 per cent to $12.95.

The retirement village operator told shareholders at its annual meeting that sales increased 82 per cent to $403m for the first quarter compared with the previous corresponding period, and occupancy was running at 97 per cent.

Ryman has bought a large retirement village site in Mulgrave, Melbourne, and 97 per cent of its build programme for the next two years has resource consent or development approval. It has 13 villages under construction in New Zealand and Australia, and a further 13 sites are land banked.

Transport and logistics operator Mainfreight surged $3.62 or 4.56 per cent to a new high of $83, by far the most expensive stock on the market.

Fast food operator Restaurant Brands, with 350 outlets in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and California, increased 11c to $15.89 after reporting strong sales. For the second quarter to June, Restaurant Brands’ total sales increased 53.3 per cent to nearly $281m, and sales for the year to date were $540.6m, up 41 per cent.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rebounded 46c to $32.16; Freightways was up 34c or 2.7 per cent to $12.94; Ebos Group rose 60c or 1.94 per cent to $31.60; Fletcher Building gained 16c or 2.16 per cent to $7.56; Contact Energy increased 11c to $8.37; and Auckland International Airport collected 6.5c to $7.225.

Z Energy was up 7c or 2.39 per cent to $3; Napier Port rose 4c to $3.26; SkyCity Entertainment picked up another 2c to $3.29; Oceania Healthcare gained 4c or 2.68 per cent to $1.53; Turners Automotive increased 4c to $4.25; and TIL Logistics was up 6c or 4.32 per cent to $1.45.

Re-opening stocks Vista Group was down 2c to $2.28, and Serko fell 15c or 2.07 per cent to $7.10. Skellerup Holdings went over $5, rising 6c to $5.05.

Spark was down 5.5c to $4.77; Scales Corporation declined 5c to $4.59; Hallenstein Glasson shed 6c to $7.21; and ArborGen Holdings decreased 2c or 6.25 per cent to 30c.

Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge told shareholders at its annual meeting that positive growth has continued, with record volume of laboratory tests and cash receipts for the quarter ending June. Its share price gained 3c or 2.46 per cent to $1.25.

AFT Pharmaceuticals told the market that a clinical study has found Novaliq NovaTears+Omega-3 an effective treatment for dry eye disease. AFT distributes the product in New Zealand and Australia, and its share price increased 5c to $4.55.

Tower increased 1c to 70c after announcing it has extended its insurance arrangement with TradeMe’s 1.7m customers for at least five years. Tower is planning to add new pet and boat insurance products for TradeMe and its 500,000 customers who visit the site each day.

Cavalier has told the market that its carpet brand Bremworth has been threatened with litigation by competitor Godfrey Hirst for marketing New Zealand wool as a natural, more sustainable alternative to synthetic carpet fibres made from plastic. Cavalier said it is sticking to promoting the virtues of New Zealand wool, and its share price was unchanged at 50c.

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