Shares of New Zealand’s a2 Milk Co Ltd (ATM.NZ) jumped more than 12% before trading in the stock was halted, after local media reported that the dairy company was close to winning an approval to sell baby formula in the United States.
A2 dismissed the report. The company had in May confirmed an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking permission to supply baby food to the country.
A2 Milk’s stock price shot up as much as 12.2% to NZ$5.60 to hit its highest level since April 5. Australia-listed shares of the firm jumped nearly 12% to A$5.08, before eventually being halted.
The media report suggested that FDA approval could be received “as soon as this week.”
“While we have been informed by the FDA that our application is under active review, at this stage there is no certainty as to the outcome of the application or the timing of any approval,” the company said in a statement.
Dairy companies in Australia and New Zealand have queued up to restock empty shelves in the United States with baby food, after the country recently relaxed its import policy to mitigate one of the biggest infant formula shortages in recent history.
But barring Bubs Australia (BUB.AX), which has already shipped baby food to the U.S. in several batches, others such as Fonterra (FCG.NZ) and privately run Bellamy’s Organic are yet to provide an update on the status of their respective FDA applications.
French consumer goods company Danone (DANO.PA) said recently it had shipped more than 750,000 cans of its flagship Aptamil baby formula to the United States.