Market close: Rakon a bright light as sharemarket posts sixth straight loss

Hi-tech manufacturing company Rakon continues to dazzle as the New Zealand sharemarket trades through a weak period, posting its sixth successive single-day loss.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index was up and down all day, closing at 12,996.26 after falling 23.11 points or 0.18 per cent. The index traded in a narrow range of 13,019.37 and 12,967.91 points, and has hit its lowest level in seven weeks.

There were 60 gainers and 88 decliners over the whole market on volume of 62.4 million share transactions worth $216.44 million. The trading was dominated by takeover target Z Energy with 15.75m of its shares worth $57.06m changing hands. Z Energy was up 1c to $3.62.

Dan Stratful, investment adviser with Forsyth Barr, said offshore markets are weak and this is rubbing off on the New Zealand market, which also faced an official cash rate rise last week.

Rakon, which makes crystal frequency control products for the GPS industry, continued its meteoric rise, increasing 3c or 1.91 per cent to $1.60, having reached an intraday high of $1.68. It has risen from a low of 15c in late March last year and over the past 12 months has increased 293 per cent.

Founded in 1967 with offices in Auckland, France, Silicon Valley, UK, India, China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, Rakon recently upgraded its operating earnings (ebitda) to $39m-$44m for the 2022 financial year.

Rakon told the market on September 29 it was benefiting from an extensive global chip shortage and the 5G rollout. At that time its share price was sitting at $1.20 – and also at 95c on August 27.

Market leader Fisher and Paykel Healthcare rebounded 35c to $30.10; Mercury Energy rose 19.5c or 3.11 per cent to $6.475; Ryman Healthcare was up 15c to $14.70; but Summerset Group Holdings was down 25c to $15.05; and Mainfreight fell $2.30 or 2.49 per cent to $90.

SkyCity Entertainment lost another 4c to $3.12. Across the Tasman, its counterpart Star Entertainment Group, which operates the Sydney and Gold Coast casinos, was under the spotlight of allegedly breaching anti-money laundering rules. Star’s share price fell 23 per cent on Monday, and a further 2.57 per cent to A$3.21 ($3.40) at 5.45pm NZ time.

Ebos Group was down 55c to $34; a2 Milk declined 11c to $6.14; Freightways shed 17c to $12.55; Sanford fell 19c or 3.73 per cent to $4.90; and AFT Pharmaceuticals decreased 9c or 2.2 per cent to $4.01.

Pacific Edge, which held an Investor Day, was down 4c or 2.82 per cent to $1.13; Enprise Group declined 5c or 2.44 per cent to $2; and Harmoney fell 10c or 5.32 per cent to $1.78.

Meal kit company My Food Bag reached its lowest point since listing at $1.85, falling 7c or 5.51 per cent to $1.20.

Goodman Property Trust declined 3c to $2.42. Stratful said Goodman had a portfolio revaluation gain of 32c a share and its net tangible assets were equivalent to $2.48.

“That’s kind of interesting. Property companies have traded at a premium to net tangible assets, and Goodman has quality industrial property – one of the best sectors in real estate. I think it’s a sign of the times for property companies as investors think they are facing headwinds with rising interest rates,” Stratful said.

Westpac Banking Corporation was down 43c to $27.04 after telling the market its net profit for the second half of the 2021 financial will be reduced by $1.3b due to a $965m write-down of assets, customer refunds and litigation costs, and tax write-off related to the sale of Westpac Life Insurance Services.

Fintech company PaySauce increased 2c or 6.67 per cent to 32c after reporting strong growth for the September quarter, with recurring revenue increasing 44 per cent year on year and 22 per cent from the previous quarter. Total number of payroll customers is up 82 per cent year on year to 5611.

Other gainers were The Warehouse Group, up 12c or 3.04 per cent to $4.07; Briscoe Group collecting 9c to $6.89; AMP increasing 3c or 2.59 per cent to $1.19; DGL Group rising 9c or 3.03 to $3.06; Just Life Group gaining 4c or 5 per cent to 84c; and NZME picking up 4c or 3.67 per cent to $1.13.

Embattled Talisman Gold Mines has a new chairman, John Upperton, and director, Northland farmer Calum McKenzie. Company secretary Jane Bell has resigned and chief executive Matthew Hill is stepping down from the board. Talisman’s share price rose 0.001c or 50 per cent to 0.003c.

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