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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain on Summerset earnings

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain on Summerset earnings; Fletcher rises, Chorus falls

Feb. 25 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, led by Summerset Group after the retirement village operator beat its IPO targets by tripling full-year earnings and raising its dividend. Chorus and Heartland New Zealand both fell after posting their results.

The NZX 50 Index gained 11.84 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4226.44. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 19 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $143 million.

Summerset rose 3.2 percent to $2.56 after reporting full-year profit of $14.8 million and declaring a dividend of 2.5 cents per share, beating the forecasts from its 2011 prospectus.

“The dividend was 25 percent higher than the IPO forecast,” said Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. “That’s what we’re really looking for – income from dividend streams – if they are growing, so much the better.”

Trade Me Group, the auction website, rose 3 percent to $4.44. Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, rose 2.2 percent to $1.40 and jeweller Michael Hill International rose 1.6 percent to $1.25.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which last week lifted full-year guidance a second time as demand for new breathing masks helps speed sales and margin growth, gained 1.6 percent to $2.56.

Fletcher Building, which sold off after its results last week, gained 1.2 percent to $8.78. Nuplex Industries rose 1.5 percent to $3.45.

Sky Network Television, the pay-TV company, rose 1.9 percent to $5.30 after reporting on Friday a 9 percent gain in first-half profit as subscribers migrated to its My Sky premium service and spent more.

Port of Tauranga, which posted record first-half earnings last week, gained 1.2 percent to $14, a record-high close.

OceanaGold fell 2.1 percent to $2.76 after the miner said transportation of copper-gold concentrate from its Didipio Mine in Luzon, the Philippines, had been temporarily suspended after authorities detained its trucks over a tax dispute.

Heartland New Zealand fell 1.4 percent to 72 cents after reporting a 9.2 percent gain in first-half earnings. Easton said the result disappointed some investors because the profit gain reflected a reduction in costs while the loan book was “pretty flat.”

Chorus, the network company spun off from Telecom in 2011, fell 3.3 percent to $2.94. First-half net profit was $84 million on sales of $525 million, beating some analyst estimates. But investors fretted over the company’s announcement that the cost of building a nationwide ultrafast broadband network has increased by some $300 million to as much as $1.9 billion.

(BusinessDesk)

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