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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; F&P Healthcare gains for 3rd day

Wednesday 16th October 2019

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(Oct. 15, 5:46 PM) New Zealand shares rose, as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare extended its run after raising earnings guidance yesterday on an earlier than expected US regulatory approval. 

The S&P/NZX 50 Index increased 18.74 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,045.34. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 18 fell, and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $163.8 million. 

F&P Healthcare rose for a third day, up 2.6 percent at $18.79 on a volume of 1.3 million shares, more than its 90-day average of 545,000. The breathing mask regulator hit a record $19.05, adding to yesterday's rally when it said profit would rise by as much as 26.8 percent in the March 2020 year. Its Viterra mask received US approval earlier than expected. 

"They're pretty much a world-leader, and it's particularly good for a New Zealand company to be doing so well in that space, especially in the large American market," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. 

"The market is really liking that stock and the buying continues to push that price up." 

Arvida Group led the market higher, up 3.4 percent at a record $1.54 on a volume of 249,000 shares, less than half its 678,000 average. 

Retirement village stocks were stronger after Real Estate Institute figures showed house price inflation picked up in September. Metlifecare was up 2.3 percent at $4.55 and Summerset Group rose 1.5 percent to $6.80. Ryman Healthcare advanced 1.2 percent to $13.46 on a volume of 2.8 million shares, more than its 445,000 average. 

"House prices do influence those stocks on the market because if house prices are going up and the villages are turning over villas, they're selling them at that higher price," Williamson said. 

Ebos Group rose 0.4 percent to $25 after the health and animal care products maker extended its reach into medical devices with a A$34 million acquisition. 

Williamson said the company has been very good at making bolt-on acquisitions.

"Management continues to tick all the right boxes." 

Sky Network Television was the most traded stock with a volume of 3.8 million, well up on its 1 million average. The shares were unchanged at $1.06, having whipped back and forth over the past week when the pay-TV operator lost the domestic cricket broadcasting rights but subsequently retained rugby. 

Williamson said analysts seemed undecided on Sky's broadcasting deal, with the proliferation of platforms making it harder for customers. 

"Sky used to be a one-stop-shop for all the sports you wanted," he said. 

Spark New Zealand, which emerged as an aggressive rival to Sky for sports broadcasting rights, fell 1.4 percent to $4.445 on a volume of 2.1 million shares, less than its 3.1 million average. 

Meridian Energy increased 0.5 percent to $5.25 on a volume of 1.5 million shares after its September operating metrics showed more hydro generation at higher average wholesale prices in the month compared to a year earlier. 

Contact Energy fell 1.1 percent to $8.75 with 1.2 million shares traded after its September update showed smaller monthly generation, albeit at a higher price, from a year earlier. 

Of other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Property For Industry decreased 0.2 percent to $2.435, Fletcher Building fell 1.7 percent to $4.60, and Mercury NZ increased 0.4 percent at $5.52. 

Chorus increased 1.4 percent to $5.375 after saying the Commerce Commission delayed the release of draft decisions on the way it will create input methodologies for the company's regulated fibre network

Infratil was the worst performer on the day, down 2.3 percent at $5.03 on a volume of 415,000 shares, down on its 751,000 average. The infrastructure investment firm showcased its Vodafone New Zealand and Canberra Data Centres investments at a briefing for investors in Sydney today. 

Outside the benchmark index, Marsden Maritime Holdings increased 1.9 percent to $5.81 on a volume of just 738 shares. The part-owner of Whangarei's Northport held its annual meeting today, where chair Murray Jagger was optimistic about the outlook for the port operator. 


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