Rise continuing for NZ shares

  • 21/03/2016

By Jonathan Underhill

New Zealand shares rose, pushing the S&P/NZX 50 Index to a record and leaving the market looking expensive relative to its earnings outlook.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Goodman Property Trust led the rally. Vista Group International fell after a quarter of the company was sold at a discount.

The NZX 50 rose 18.44 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,641.94. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 22 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was about $160 million.

The benchmark index has gained about 9 percent in the past month as low interest rates continue to spur demand for the dividend yield on stocks.

F&P Healthcare rose 2.4 percent to $9.48, Goodman Property Trust rose 1.9 percent to $1.315 and Steel & Tube Holdings rose 1.8 percent to $2.30. Mainfreight gained 1.3 percent to $15.70 and SkyCity rose 1.2 to $4.98.

"Right now the one-year forward price-earnings ratio for the market is around 22 times, while the long-term average is 15.5 times," said Matthew Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management. "The market, whichever way you cut it, does look expensive. There's still value to be found in the Kiwi market but you have to go digging now."

Trade Me rose 1.6 percent to $4.44 and A2 Milk gained 1.6 percent to $1.94. Infratil advanced 1.6 percent to $3.25.

Air New Zealand rose 1.1 percent to $2.87 amid two pieces of news about the airline.

Vista Group International fell 3.6 percent to $5.40 when it resumed trading after being halted for the sale of about a quarter of its stock.

Warehouse Group gained 1.4 percent to $2.83 and Tower gained 1.1 percent to $1.84.

Chorus fell 1.4 percent, or 5.5 cents, to $3.98 after shedding its 8 cent interim dividend.

Snakk Media was unchanged at 70 cents after the NXT-listed mobile advertising company, said it had become the victim of an online scam that could cost as much as $215,000.

Pumpkin Patch rose 7.3 percent to 8.8 cents after the children's clothing retailer posted an 80 percent slump in first-half earnings, in line with guidance.