Christchurch firms' shares surge to all-time highs
A couple of Christchurch stalwarts have hit all-time trading highs in recent days, helped by solid management during times of international market volatility.
Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare's share price hit a new all-time high of $3.64 yesterday. Volumes in the shares traded were also strong on Thursday with several significant off-market trades, according to one broker.
Shares in another Garden City-based firm, Ebos Group, finished steady at $7.90 having hit an all-time high of $8.00 on Wednesday during intraday trade.
Ebos is a medical supplies firm that recently widened its product distribution sphere with the purchase of pet supplies via Wellington-based Masterpet group for $105 million, announced on December 23.
Grant Williamson, director in brokerage Hamilton Hindin Greene, said Ryman and Ebos were both performing well, with Ryman having broken some technical levels. There were not a lot of sellers in the market.
"It is very much looking like blue sky for Ryman Healthcare at the moment." Craigs Investment Partners analyst Michelle Perkins said Ryman's recent price gains could arguably be attributed to an update by Summerset last week, with the Wellington company saying that sales were tracking well ahead of its prospectus forecasts.
Summerset had sold 83 units in the six months till June 30, more than double the 41 it sold in the same period in 2011. "People will be reading through and going, `Well, if their sales are up, Ryman sales will be up also'," she said.
In addition, Ryman had performed "very well" in the face of New Zealand market difficulties brought about by the global financial crisis.
"Ryman is right up there. It was one of only a handful of stocks that didn't cut its dividend, and it actually grew its dividend and earnings through that period." In its prospectus Summerset forecast that it would sell 134 units in the year to December 31, however it is tracking about 24 per cent ahead of the figure.
Williamson said Ebos' performance was somewhat reflective of the interest by institutions to buy the shares sold down by the Stewart family in March. The Stewarts offloaded their 10.18 per cent stake in Ebos to five institutional investors in an off-market deal.
"[That] gave quite a bit of confidence to investors on the stock. I think we're waiting for confirmation of how their major acquisition of Masterpet ... is going," he said.
"But like a lot of these stocks, investors are backing the management with proven track records and Ebos certainly has that along with Ryman. These companies that continue to grow year after year have been re-rated by the market pretty well."
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