NZ shares rise as A2 soars to record

  • 23/12/2015
NZ shares rise as A2 soars to record

By Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares rose as A2 Milk Co soared to a record on continued bullish sentiment since its guidance upgrade last week. Meridian Energy and Nuplex Industries advanced, while NZX and Kathmandu Holdings fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index was up 47.37 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6195.34. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 22 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $113.1 million.

A2 Milk, which counts Australia as its biggest market, rose 11.1 percent to a record $1.80, with 12.8 million shares changing hands, down from 28 million yesterday.

The stock has rallied 62 percent, or 69 cents, since last Friday, when the milk marketer raised its forecast for 2016 operating earnings for a second time this year.

"A lot of Australian investors are getting involved in the stock," said Grant Davies, investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Australia perhaps has a better understanding of the brand. Volume is starting to wane a little bit."

Nuplex rose 2.4 percent to $4.78, a seven-year high. The stock has risen 57 percent this year, and last month predicted annual earnings will rise by as much as 22 percent in 2016.

Energy stocks rose, with Meridian Energy up 2.6 percent to $2.34, Mighty River Power up 2.2 percent to $2.77, and TrustPower up 0.5 percent to $7.64.

Air New Zealand rose 0.3 percent to $2.92.

NZX was the worst performer, falling 1.9 percent to $1.02. The stock had risen 5.9 percent over three trading days, and has fallen back 4.7 percent over the past two days.

Metro Performance Glass fell 1.8 percent to $1.67, while Skellerup Holdings fell 1.3 percent to $1.48.

Kathmandu fell 1.3 percent to $1.58.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust fell 1.1 percent to $1.865.

Kiwi Property Group fell 0.4 percent to $2.34.

Outside the benchmark, Seeka Kiwifruit Industries rose 0.3 percent to $3.37.