Ryman Healthcare day’s worst performer.

New Zealand shares rose, with A2 Milk and Sky TV recovering from sell-offs, while Ryman Healthcare and Chorus declined.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 17.86 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7178.73. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 15 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $102.3 million.

A2 Milk led the index, up 4.6 per cent to $2.51. "Clearly there were quite high expectations going into the result, and the share price rallied before that," said Craig Stent, director and research analyst at Harbour Asset Management. "As a consequence, despite them beating expectations and guiding up to a higher earnings, it sold off post result. So perhaps we're seeing people saying actually, this is a pretty good result so why aren't we buying this."

Sky TV rose 2.8 per cent to $3.71. It was trading at $4.35 before February 23, when the Commerce Commission rejected its proposed merger with the New Zealand operations of Vodafone. The shares plunged by as much as 17 per cent on the day and had continued to weaken before yesterday.


Freightways gained 2.4 per cent to $7.25, Meridian Energy rose 2 per cent to $2.79, and Westpac advanced 1.5 per cent to $36.90.

Ryman Healthcare was the worst performer, dropping 3.2 per cent to $8.61. Stent said quarterly rebalancing of the MSCI indices, effective February 29, had played a part in the fall.

Chorus was down 1.2 per cent to $3.99 while Genesis Energy fell 1.2 per cent to $2.13.

NZX was unchanged at $1.12. Both cash trading volumes and the value of trading fell on the NZX in February, when most of the biggest listed companies announced earnings. While both metrics were down on the year, they gained versus January as reporting season got underway.

Outside the benchmark index, CBL Corp gained 3.7 per cent to $3.34. The shares had fallen to a six-month low last week after the credit surety and financial risk insurance company posted full-year earnings that missed some market expectations and included one-time costs that weren't projected in its prospectus.

Abano Healthcare was unchanged at $8.90. Peter and Anya Hutson and James Reeves' latest attempt to wrest control of Abano has failed, with the partial takeover falling well short of the 50.01 per cent level needed.

Veritas Investments was unchanged at 31c. It said it had reached a confidential settlement with Phil Mead, a former franchisee in the Nosh group who sought to terminate his franchise agreement after buying the business just days before Veritas disclosed it was under pressure from its bank to sell the upmarket supermarket chain.