Freight shares caught in turbulence as prices bounce

Most falls occur at start of trade, just before the market reverses track

Freight shares caught in turbulence as prices bounce
There has been big swings on share markets.


Transport and logistics stocks have been caught up in the stock market wailing and gnashing of teeth over what Treasurer Joe Hockey called a "correction" rather than a crisis.

The nation’s top 200 stocks lost 4 per cent of their value yesterday after Friday’s big slide in northern hemisphere stock exchanges but a correction to the correction was underway from nine minutes after trading began today.

For some firms, there was a delayed reaction to events unfolding, with the blow not landing until this morning.

Amongst those companies with a significant fleet component, this was the case for K&S Group’s shares, the price of which remained at $1.30 at the close of trade, with only 19,400 shares changing hands over the day.

But by noon today, it had dropped five cents with close to 90,000 shares traded. K&S’s shares have been volatile over the last year, but look to be continuing a downward trend since a peak price of $1.60 in April.

The company announced strong profit growth in its results statement last Friday, and investors are set to receive a 3.5 cents-per-share dividend later in the year.

Shares in Lindsay Australia suffered a similar delayed reaction today, but have already recovered to be above their closing price at the end of last week.

Yesterday, the price remained steady at 45 cents. Today’s market saw an immediate drop-off to 43.5 cents, but investors quickly restored their faith. By noon, Lindsay shares were trading at $1.60, an 11 per cent jump for the day.

Over the last three year, the stock has traded in a relatively wide window of 35- 51 cents.

McAleese did see a fall in its share price yesterday, its shares closing one cent down at seven cents each. But rather than a reaction to issues in China, the drop-off could be seen as a continuation of a downward trend that has now halved the share price since May and fallen from a high of close to 60 cents at this time last year.

Charmers, whose stock is traded lightly and held closely, has sat around the $3.10 mark for four months after going great guns through the first calendar quarter from $2.75 to reach the heady heights of $3.20 at one stage.

But late yesterday it dived to $3.00, where it stayed today.

A similar story can be told of CTI Logistics, though, unlike Chalmers, its price is subject to a fair deal of volatility. In one of its biggest trading days, its price fell from $1.20 to $1.08 then bounced a tad to $1.11. In March over four days, its price rose from $1.25 to $1.45 before sinking to $1.35 two weeks later.

Transport stocks with greater international exposures did take some significant hits yesterday.

Ports and logistics firm Qube Holdings finished the day five cents down at $2.11, with over four million of its shares traded.

It dipped further today, to $2.10, before joining in what looks to be a wider recovery. By noon, Qube’s shares were trading at $2.21.

Amongst those larger firms with a focus on other transport modes, Qantas shares dropped 4.34 per cent to $3.15 in trading yesterday, with just under 30 million units traded – the most for any day in the last three months.

After dipping further this morning, its share price recovered to be over $3.40 at 12pm today.

The company is still far ahead of its position at this time last year, when shares were trading for well under $1.50 each.

Asciano has suffered something of a rollercoaster.

After starting yesterday at $8.64, its price hit $8.43, attempted a late rally that was snuffed early today only to bounce around  either side of $8.45.

Aurizon represents a place of relative solidity amidst the carnage.

Its price experienced an initial drop of 9 cents to $5, then lost some resistance through the day to end at $4.90 after a hefty sell-off.

It started today at $4.88, then bounce back to $5.01 with the market.

Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) has a big fleet but that is not the centre of its universe and is a bastion of shareholder value.

But it was not immune to the drama falling from $4.29 to $4.12 yesterday before recovering.

The real volatility for AHG was delayed until today, when the price plunged from $4.18 to start at $4 before some sanity prevailed and it returned to $4.18.

It was an almost identical story with rival AP Eagers, though its recovery was less conclusive.

The price fell from $10.05 to $9.80 yesterday then tested the $10 mark before plummeting from $9.80 to $9.02 then making a steep recovery to $9.46.

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