Mainfreight shares jumped today after the logistics company highlighted its success in the United States to shareholders at its annual meeting.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 193 points, or 1.73%, to 11,328.19. Turnover was $147.5 million.
Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, told BusinessDesk that Mainfreight had the “best performance” of the day thanks to its positive trading update and the rest of the New Zealand market had enjoyed the positive flow through from US markets overnight.
“We're very beholden to what happens in international markets and at the moment that's good because markets are in an optimistic mood and we're seeing a bit of a rebound after a pretty ugly six months in NZ,” he said.
At Mainfreight’s annual meeting today, group managing director Don Braid told shareholders that in the past 16 weeks from April 1, group revenue was up by 32.5% to $1.4 billion, and profit up 82.9% to $178.83 million.
The result was driven by an increase in US revenue by 41.4% to US$257.5m and profit of US$37.20m, Braid said.
The company’s shares rose 6.3% to $75.50, up $4 from yesterday.
Fleet management company Eroad also had its annual meeting today and the board had to deal with a deluge of questions around the mysterious exit of founder and chief executive Steven Newman.
The company’s chair Graham Stuart was grilled on Eroad’s communication skills around Newman’s departure, which drove the company’s shares to its lowest ever share price in June – but Stuart wouldn’t reveal why Newman left so suddenly.
Stockbroking firm Chris Lee and Partners said in a note this afternoon that Steven Newman’s poorly explained departure had “spooked” the market and his retirement had never been successfully explained.
“Armed with clever, well-developed technology, Eroad needs, to be blunt, to be a transparent, smart company able to keep ahead of its competitors by being nimble, a great communicator, and a pursuer of excellence,” he said.
“Most of all, it needs to monetise its excellence.”
Eroad shares were up to $2.14 per share by early evening, after having dropped to $2.10 after the annual meeting came to a close.
Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge told shareholders at its annual meeting today that the company wasn’t planning more capital raises in the immediate future as the company thought that the capital it raised last year would be enough to get it to profitability.
Pacific Edge chairman Chris Gallagher addressed shareholders' frustration with the falling share price but said it was “out of our control”.
He said Pacific Edge wouldn’t focus on the share price dropping, but would focus on driving revenue.
The board also ruled out a Nasdaq listing after shareholders asked if it was a possibility.
The company shares were flat at 78 cents per share at the end of the day.
Lister said church management company PushPay and technology firm Vista Group had a good day, thanks to the Nasdaq in the US having a strong rally overnight.
“Our small tech stocks in this part of the world are benefiting from that sort of overall positivity towards that sector,” he said.
Pushpay was up 3.3% to $1.27 and Vista rose 2% to $1.72.
Stocks that had less of a good day were few and far between, but Manawa Energy was down 2% to $6 – the only energy provider to be down on the index today.
AFT Pharmaceuticals shares also fell 1.3% to $3.69 and retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings was down 2.1% to $5.10.
Lister said the US Federal Reserve deciding to raise interest rates by 75 basis points as expected overnight came as a relief to the markets globally.
“That Fed meeting has been highly anticipated and the markets everywhere have really been waiting for that,” he said.
“The US share market is still the world's biggest share market and the US is the world's biggest economy, so they set the tone and our market often follows it.”
The NZ dollar was trading at 62.66 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, up from 62.38 cents on Tuesday. The trade-weighted index was at 71.10, from 71.13 yesterday.