Shares rise at close of earnings season

Warehouse Group was the biggest gainer yesterday, climbing 2.5 per cent to $1.91. Photo / NZ Herald
Warehouse Group was the biggest gainer yesterday, climbing 2.5 per cent to $1.91. Photo / NZ Herald

New Zealand shares rose as investors reshuffled their portfolios following earnings season, with Warehouse Group and Ryman Healthcare up while Orion Health Group dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 10.88 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,398.83. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 23 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was $186.3 million, a recovery from two quiet days earlier in the week.

"There's again a little profit taking ... reporting season is now over and it was a bit of a case of 'buy the rumour, sell the fact' - now investors have decided to take a few profits," Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene said. "We're not going to see ... much news for a while now, but we could see people coming back in closer to the dividend dates."

Warehouse Group was the biggest gainer, up 2.5 per cent to $1.91.

Retirement stocks improved yesterday, with Ryman Healthcare rising 1.9 per cent to $9.60, Summerset Group gaining 1.5 per cent to $5.50 and Metlifecare advancing 0.8 per cent to $6.10.

"They're coming in for a bit of buying today, both Metlifecare and Summerset beat market expectations," Williamson said.

"That's a sector that seems to be outperforming the rest of the market."

Sky Network Television gained 1.7 per cent to $4.86 and Trustpower rose 1.3 per cent to $7.85.

Orion Health Group was the worst performer, down 3.5 per cent to $4.10. The stock is up 32.8 per cent this year, having reached a 13-month high of $5.31 in June, but has fallen back since then.

Chorus dropped 3.2 per cent to $4.25. The telecommunications network operator's shares have dropped 8.2 per cent since Monday when the company said lower regulated pricing for access to its copper services were to blame for its full-year profit stalling, although it sees a resumption of growth in 2017.

"It continues to come under some profit-taking pressure, the results maybe didn't meet some investors' expectations," Williamson said. Profit was $91 million in the 12 months ended June 30, unchanged from a year earlier while operating revenue was $1.008 billion from $1.006b.

Steel & Tube Holdings fell 1.3 per cent to $2.34.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp declined 2.1 per cent to $9.67 and Westpac Banking Corp was down 1.6 per cent to $30.56.

Outside the main index, Veritas fell 17 per cent to 39c.

The listed hospitality group, which owns the Mad Butcher franchise and the Nosh food markets, suffered after its unaudited full-year results showed a loss.

The share price fall takes the company's market capitalisation to $16.8m, less than half its debt of $33m.

Comvita dropped 1.5 per cent to $10.10 while SeaDragon was unchanged at 1.2c. SeaDragon shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of funding arrangements with Comvita that will result in the manuka honey company becoming the biggest investor in the fish oil refiner, controlling as much as 36.5 per cent of the company.

BusinessDesk

- NZ Herald

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