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Woolworths shares slump after COVID impacted the company’s earnings expectations for H1.

ASX200 lower; Polynovo surges 14% on a trading update; Woolworths dips on H1 trading update.

The ASX200 is trading 0.15% lower after lunchtime at 7368.20 points.

Polynovo adds 14% on a trading update including near record sales.

Woolworths tanks 8% after releasing H1 results including COVID impact.

The Australian market is following Wall St’s lead from overnight to trade 0.15% lower today at 7368.20 after lunchtime as a sell-off in consumer staples stocks weighs down the key index.

The tech sector is trading marginally lower today as sharp losses for Afterpay and EML Payments offset a more than 5.4% surge for Nearmap.

Bitcoin is trading 3.89% lower over the last 24-hours at US$46,944.42 at 1:15pm AEDT.

Medical device company Polynovo is surging 14.34% today after announcing a trading update including record sales in the US for July and November. Polynovo reported US sales of US$3.42m for October and November up 133% on the previous corresponding period, with November sales of US$1.95m almost equalling the record set in July of US$1.97m. Sales in Australia and New Zealand remain on track but the company acknowledges it has underperformed in the UK, Ireland and European regions.

Making headlines, Woolworths shares have tumbled 8% today so far after the grocery store giant released a first half trading update indicating that ongoing material costs of operating in a COVID environment has impacted the company’s earnings expectations in H1. For the period, Woolworths revealed direct COVID-related costs are expected to be $150m, or 0.6% of sales, Australian Food’s EBIT is expected to be $1.19bn to $1.22bn, lower than the $1.3bn for H1 FY21, and expects positive sales momentum going into the Christmas period.

And Rivian’s R1T electric pickup truck has been deemed as the most ‘remarkable pickup truck’ MotorTrend has ever seen after winning MotorTrend’s 2022 Truck of the Year award.

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