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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain with F&P Healthcare

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain with F&P Healthcare; Pacific Edge, Kathmandu decline

By Suze Metherell

May 29 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand stocks rose, as a weaker kiwi dollar helped sentiment for companies that sell in US dollars, such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. Pacific Edge fell for second day after its full-year loss widened 44 percent.

The NZX 50 Index rose 1.699 points, or 0.03 percent, to 5183.161. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 14 fell and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $118.6 million.

F&P Healthcare advanced 1.4 percent to $4.49. The breathing apparatus manufacturer, which exports 98 percent of its product, last week said profit rose 26 percent to $97.1 million in the year ended March 31 but expects 2015 earnings growth to stall as it struggles against a high kiwi dollar. Today the kiwi fell to a two-month low against the US dollar.

"Their earnings are overseas and their cost base is here, so any fluctuation in the dollar is seen there," said Bryon Burke, head of equities at Craigs Investment Partners.

Pacific Edge dropped 3.4 percent to a seven-month low of 86 cents. The bladder cancer test developer posted a full-year loss of $9.95 million as it chases growth in its American market, where it is targeting $100 million in sales in five years' time.

Outside the NZX 50, Energy Mad, which makes energy efficient light bulbs, fell 13 percent to 26 cents after it more than doubled its full-year loss to $5.7 million and signalled it may lose access to $7.7 million of tax losses. Moa Group slid 17 percent to an all time low of 43 cents after the boutique beer maker posted a wider full-year loss and said major shareholders Pioneer Capital and the Business Bakery have committed to providing enough financial support to allow the company to keep operating for at least the year ahead.

"Its not a good day for a lot of the speculative end of the market today," Burke said. "Mad, Moa and Pacific Edge all don't look too good. The type of investor that is in these stocks is a punter and the fact all three of those stocks don't have a yield or a solid PE as such, they're growth stocks. When the price starts to fall there's no questioning where it is going to stop."

Kathmandu Holdings was the day's worst performer, falling 3.7 percent to $3.60. The outdoor goods and clothing chain gets two-thirds of its revenue from Australia where according to government data clothing sales fell 0.2 percent in March as seasonal sales are slower after an unseasonably long summer in Victoria and New South Wales.

"The Kathmandu share price is driven out of Australia, both its share price and a large part of its earnings," said Burke.

Telecom fell 0.2 percent to $2.72. Fletcher Building slipped 0.4 percent to $9.14 and Skycity Entertainment Group declined 0.8 percent to $3.97.

Tower led the index higher up 1.7 percent to $1.77. Yesterday the general insurer said annual continuing operations, which exclude the asset sale gains and remnant life insurance business, made a profit of $10 million, or 4.96 cents per share, turning from a loss of $9.4 million, or 3.5 cents a year earlier, when it increased earthquake provisioning.

Outside the benchmark index, Trilogy International climbed 13 percent to 68 cents, after the skincare products and scented candle maker said full-year profit climbed to $1.07 million, or 2 cents per share, in the 12 months ended March 31 from $34,000, or 0 cents, a year earlier.

Renaissance Corp, which lost its monopoly on Apple products sold in New Zealand, rose 1.4 percent to 14.2 cents. The company has sold all of its operating assets as part of a plan to return capital to investors and close down and said it is unlikely to get a $1 million earn-out from the Yoobee School of Design because earnings are tracking below target.

Postie Plus Group last traded at 7.3 cents before shares in the clothing chain were put on hold pending a yet-to-be-made material announcement.


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