NZX 50 rises to record on upbeat day
New Zealand shares rose as better-than-expected full-year earnings from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare added to upbeat sentiment for the local market. Mainfreight, which reported on Thursday, and Vital Healthcare Property Trust were among leading gainers.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 44.66 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6992.54, a record-high close. Within the index, 33 shares rose, 10 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $145 million.
F&P Healthcare climbed about 1 percent to $10.30 and has gained about 15 percent this year.
The maker of breathing masks and respirators posted a 27 percent gain in full-year profit to a record $143.4 million, beating its guidance and market estimates, and said it expects to achieve both record earnings and sale in the current year.
"Healthcare has been the biggest outperformer versus forecast" this earnings season, said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr.
Mainfreight rose 2.6 percent $17.36. The transport and logistics group on Thursday reported a 6.3 percent gain in full-year profit as improved trading in New Zealand, Asia and Europe was offset by weaker results in Australia and the Americas.
Price said the result was in line with expectations, which had caused some people to "breathe a sigh of relief."
Freightways rose 2.1 percent to $6.89.
Air New Zealand rose 1.9 percent to $2.13. the stock sank to its lowest level since late 2014 this week on concern about increased competition and the likelihood that Virgin Australia will need recapitalising before it can be sold.
"I'm sure there are buyers at the right price," Price said, but there was still a question of how much was needed for the recapitalisation.
Vital Healthcare rose about 3 percent to $2.245 and Xero gained 2.9 percent to $17.50. Genesis Energy climbed 2.2 percent to $2.065, Kiwi Property Group climbed about 2 percent to $1.545 and Trade Me Group rose about 2 percent to $4.71.
Ebos Group rose 1.7 percent to $16.33 and Steel & Tube Holdings gained 1.5 percent to $2.04.
Warehouse Group was the biggest decliner, falling 1.5 percent to $2.71, and Kathmandu fell 1.3 percent to $1.53. Tower dropped 1 percent to $1.465.
Outside the benchmark index, Abano Healthcare rose 1.3 percent to $7.85 after saying its sale of a half stake in Bay International had gone unconditional after it got a waiver from the NZX. Trilogy International fell 0.7 percent to $4.20.