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MARKET CLOSE NZ shares fall as valuations questioned

MARKET CLOSE NZ shares fall as valuations questioned; Fletcher, Telecom, Ryman drop

By Suze Metherell

May 20 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell on concern the NZX 50 Index’s 9 percent gain this year has left the local bourse fully valued relative to the earnings outlook. Ryman Healthcare, Telecom and Fletcher Building paced the decline.

The NZX 50 Index fell 32.889 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5134.891. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 18 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $135.2 million.

Ryman declined 3 percent to $8.44. The retirement village operator has gained 32 percent over the past year, outperforming the benchmark index’s 11 percent gain. Telecom, the bourse’s second largest company by market value, slipped 1.5 percent to $2.69, having gained 16 percent year-to-date. Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, dropped 1.1 percent to a near three month low of $9.00 and has risen 8.3 percent in the past year.

“The market is trading at extended multiples compared to what we are used to,” said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr. “People are not in a mad rush to buy stocks, given a lot of the leaders look like being fully priced.”

Pacific Edge, the Dunedin biotech company, dropped 3.7 percent to $1.03. Xero, the cloud-based accounting software company, fell 0.3 percent to $32.30.

Growth stocks outside the NZX 50 dropped. SLI Systems, the makers of retail website search engines, fell 1.1 percent to $1.83. Wynyard Group, which makes security software, declined 1.4 percent to $2.16.

Trade Me Group, the online auction site, led the index lower, falling 3.8 percent to a two-year low of $3.51.

Diligent Board Member Services, the governance app maker, declined 1.8 percent to $4.42.

Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 0.4 percent to $1.16 after the property investor reported a 7.8 percent decline in annual profit as the cost of exiting a management contract with Commonwealth Bank Australia offset valuation and rental income gains. Distributable income rose 25 percent to $76.3 million.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 1.9 percent to $4.22 ahead of the breathing apparatus manufacturer reporting its annual earnings this week.

Air New Zealand rose 1.7 percent to $2.13 after the national carrier announced it had expanded its marketing relationship with Tourism New Zealand by $20 million with a particular focus on South East Asia. Air NZ is seeking regulatory approval to code share with Singapore Airlines.

Auckland International Airport fell 0.5 percent to $3.975.

OceanaGold, the Melbourne-based gold miner, was the best performer on the day, advancing 2.1 percent to $2.90.

MightyRiverPower fell 0.4 percent to $2.24. Meridian Energy advanced 0.8 percent to $1.22. Contact Energy rose 0.6 percent to $5.50 and Vector, the Auckland lines company, gained 1.2 percent to $2.53.

Outside the benchmark index, Genesis Energy fell 0.5 percent to $1.845.

GuocoLeisure, the diversified investment company once known as Brierley Investments, rose 1.1 percent to 90 cents. In a long heralded move the company announced it will delist from the NZX on June 24, meaning its dwindling New Zealand shareholder base will have to use the Singapore Exchange in future.


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