4 NZX utilities stocks that are the talk of the town

Utilities play a critical role in every country's economic growth because energy is needed in a variety of industries. Recently, there has been an increased interest in these companies due to discussions on a renewables-focused infrastructure package in the US.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6% to 12650.64 points on 23 April, but still finished the week 0.3% lower.

ALSO READ: Buying in Materials and Utilities Stocks, Pulled NZX 50 Up

The share price of Meridian Energy and Contact Energy has been fluctuating after a heavy sell down by overseas ETFs, which track a major global clean energy index created by Standard & Poor’s.

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Let’s have a look at how these 4 NZX-listed utilities have been performing recently.

Meridian Energy Limited (NZX:MEL, ASX:MEZ)

Meridian provided its operating report for March 2021, showing that electricity demand in Q3 was 2.2% lower than in previous quarter, and the Waitaki catchment water storage at the end of Q3 was 82% lower than in Q3 2020.

MEL’s NZ retail sales volumes were 8.2% higher than March 2020 with an increase in all segment sales except agriculture. Meridian’s Australian retail sales volumes were 8.8% higher for March compared to the end of Q3.

ALSO READ: These New Zealand Companies Are Bidding Farewell To Carbon

Meridian has been experiencing institutional investment outflows as well recently.

On 23 April, Meridian ended the trading session at $5.69, up 3.64% from its previous close.

Mercury NZ Limited (NZX:MCY, ASX:MCY)

Mercury provided a quarterly update for Q3 FY21, which underlined continuing dry conditions and price raises as vital issues in the most recent figures.

Mercury’s hydro generation rose by 71GWh to 910GWh in Q3 FY21 compared to pcp despite Waikato catchment inflows being 168GWh below average. Mercury's FY2021 hydro generation forecast remains at 3,800GWh.

MCY’s sale portfolio leaned towards commercial and industrial segments during the quarter. Mercury also reported a national demand fall of 1.4% in the quarter as compared to pcp.

On 23 April, MCY ended the trading session at $6.815, up 4.05% from its previous close.

ALSO READ: World Climate Change Summit held; Jacinda Ardern Asks Countries to Follow NZ’s Lead

Contact Energy Limited (NZX:CEN, ASX:CEN)

Contact Energy recently released its operating report for March 2021.

Contact’s customer business recorded mass market electricity and gas sales of 277GWh for March compared to 310 GWh in the same month previous year. The Group’s electricity and steam net revenue also stood at $84.87/MWh for the month compared to $87.29/MWh in March 2020.

CEN has been experiencing institutional investment outflows as well recently.

On 23 April, CEN ended the trading session at $7.58, up 0.93% from the previous close.

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Genesis Energy Limited (NZX:GNE, ASX:GNE)

Genesis recently released its Q3 FY21 report, which revealed completion of Waipipi wind farm in March with all 31 turbines now authorised and providing 77 GWh of renewable energy.

The Company has also received strong support from prospective buyers for a stake in Kupe asset. The Inlet Compression Project is also progressing well and is planned to be finished in Q1 FY22.

On 23 April, GNE ended the trading session at $3.38, up 0.15% from its previous close.

(NOTE: Currency is reported in NZ Dollar unless stated otherwise)

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