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Current as of 09/12/16 02:59PM NZST

NZX high prompts profit take, Kathmandu and Orion gain

The S&P/NZX 50 shed 24.94 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6730.29. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 23 rose and four were unchanged.
The S&P/NZX 50 shed 24.94 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6730.29. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 23 rose and four were unchanged.

New Zealand shares fell as some investors took advantage of the S&P/NZX 50 index opening at a record to sell stocks and lock in profits. SkyCity Entertainment Group extended its decline on its chief executive's resignation. Kathmandu and Orion Health gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 shed 24.94 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6730.29. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 23 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $212.8 million. The benchmark index has gained 6.8 per cent this year to reach Thursday's record.

Shane Solly, director at Harbour Asset Management said a little bit of profit taking was "not surprising after a really strong rally."

SkyCity, which has been the subject of takeover speculation, led declines for a second straight session after chief executive Nigel Morrison announced on Thursday he had resigned after an eight-year tenure.

The stock had rallied 14.3 per cent this year, with that gain now shaved to 7.5 per cent.

Sky Network Television dropped 2.3 per cent to $4.65, having gained 3.7 per cent this year. ANZ lost 1.6 per cent to $24.90 and Westpac dropped 1.4 per cent to $31.69.

Kathmandu Holdings was the biggest gainer, up 3 per cent to $1.70. It has risen 5.8 per cent this year, after a first-half profit of $9.4 million, meeting guidance and affirming full-year forecast profit of $30.2 million.

Orion Health Group advanced 2.9 per cent to $3.95, an eight-month high. On Wednesday, the health systems software company announced its second large contract in a fortnight, this time with the largest health service provider in Queensland, Metro North. The shares have risen from $3.12 before the US announcement on March 30, having fallen to an all-time low of $2.53 in late February from a listing price in November 2014 of $5.70.

Kiwi Property Group dropped 1 per cent to $1.45. New Zealand's biggest listed property investor by market value has agreed to buy 50 per cent of Hamilton's The Base shopping centre from Tainui Group Holdings for $192.5 million and offered $197.5 million for the balance.

Outside the main index, Michael Hill International was unchanged at $1 and has gained 1 per cent this year. The jewellery retailer said revenue rose 9.1 per cent in the first nine months of its financial year. Vista Group International gained 0.6 per cent to $5.38. The cinema software and analytics firm bought movie website Flicks for an undisclosed sum.

- BusinessDesk

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