Auckland Airport leads local index higher

  • 30/08/2016
Auckland Airport leads local index higher

New Zealand shares rose in light trading as earnings trickled off, with Auckland International Airport leading the index while A2 Milk Co continued to drop.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 20.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,387.95. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 20 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $124.1 million.

Auckland International Airport led the index, up 2.9 percent to $7.51. The listed airport announced its annual results on Monday, with net profit rising 17.4 percent to $262.4 million while underlying profit rose 20.6 percent to $212.7 million.

"That was a pretty strong result, it certainly beat our expectations and even though it trades at a lofty multiple it's a quality asset," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 2.2 percent to $9.88 and Genesis Energy rose 2.1 percent to $2.22.

A2 Milk Co was the biggest decliner, down 4 percent to $1.90. It's dropped 17.4 percent since last Wednesday when it announced a return to full-year profit, meeting guidance, and a 127 percent jump in revenue that was driven by infant formula sales in Australia and China.

In the US, progress is behind A2's schedule, which it attributed to delays in achieving distribution with a number of larger retailers.

"There's some concern over whether they can drive growth in the US market, which would be a catalyst for higher earnings, and maybe that's dampened down future earning expectations so people have taken some money off the table," McIntyre said.

Chorus fell 3.5 percent to $4.39 and Z Energy dropped 1.4 percent to $8.51.

Outside the main index, Tenon gained 7.1 percent to $2.70. The Taupo-based wood processor's US operations are under offer from a New York-based private equity firm for US$110 million that the company's directors say will allow a substantial capital return to shareholders, despite a NZ$31 million writedown in the carrying value of the assets to be sold.

Energy explorer New Zealand Oil & Gas rose 6 percent to 53 cents, Pyne Gould Corp was unchanged at 22 cents and Veritas Investments was unchanged at 47 cents.