NZX 50 pushed to new record

  • 18/05/2016

By Jonathan Underhill

New Zealand shares rose, pushing the S&P/NZX 50 Index to a new record after Infratil posted a gain in full-year earnings and said it has a $1 billion war chest to make acquisitions.

Heartland New Zealand advanced after reporting a gain in profit while Steel & Tube dropped after cutting its guidance.

The NZX 50 rose 7.77 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6982.64. Within the index, 24 stocks gained, 20 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $185 million.

Infratil rose 2 percent to $3.375 after the Wellington-based investor said it has almost $730 million in cash and unused credit lines of about $270 million and it was looking at potential acquisitions.

Heartland gained 0.9 percent to $1.18 after posting a 10 percent gain in nine-month profit while delaying a planned return to shareholders, saying market volatility had created opportunities for acquisitions which may be a better use of its capital.

It affirmed guidance for profit of $51 million to $55 million for the year ending June 30, up from $36 million in 2015.

"The Heartland result was a little better than we expected," said Mark Lister, private wealth manager at Craigs Investment Partners.

Pushpay Holdings fell 3.1 percent to $2.20 after the mobile payment app company posted a wider annual loss as it chased sales growth ahead of profit, reiterating its forecast to break even in 2017.

Intueri Education Group rose 8.1 percent to 40 cents after the company told shareholders at their annual meeting that underlying earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the 2016 financial year will be slightly less than the $21.5 million achieved in 2015.

Steel & Tube Holdings fell 4.4 percent to $2.15.

Auckland International Airport rose 2.2 percent to $6.65, leading the index higher, Orion Health Group gained 1.7 percent to $4.84 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.1 percent to $10.08.

Trustpower rose 2 percent to $8, Contact Energy rose 0.4 percent to $5.37. Vector fell 0.6 percent to $3.40, Mighty River Power fell 0.3 percent to $3 and Meridian Energy declined 1.1 percent to $2.79.

Trilogy international climbed about 4 percent to $3.95.