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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares falls as F&P Health gives up gains

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares falls as F&P Health gives up gains on record profit

By Paul McBeth

May 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares fell, with investors locking in recent gains from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare after the medical humidifier and breathing mask maker reported another record profit.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 74.65 points, or 0.7 percent, to 10,147.71. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 14 rose, and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $82.7 million.

F&P Healthcare fell 3.5 percent to $16.08 on a volume of 377,000 shares, almost half its 90-day average of 662,000. The manufacturer topped $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time and lifted profit 10 percent to $209.2 million in the March year. It also flagged earnings growth of at least 14 percent for the current financial year.

The stock is still the fourth-best performer on the benchmark index so far this year, up 28 percent.

"That was a very good result. It was the top-end of the guidance range provided and gave a pretty good outlook as well," said Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

"For a stock that's had a reasonable run into the result, it was also going to be the case that there was a bit of profit taking off it when it actually arrived."

Tourism Holdings led the market lower, down 3.7 percent at $4.14 with 204,000 shares changing hands, more than its 134,000 average. The rental RV operator announced plans to scale back capital spending in the US, where a downturn in the market has dented operations. The stock has dropped almost 17 percent so far this year and is the third-worst performer on the NZX50.

Air New Zealand slipped 0.4 percent to $2.71 on a volume of 735,000, less than three-quarters of its usual trading. The airline announced a multi-billion dollar investment in new Boeing planes. Separately, it downgraded annual earnings guidance due to more expensive jet fuel and warned of slower growth over the next three years.

Big-box retail property owner Investore was the most traded stock on an unusually large volume of 2.6 million shares, compared to its usual 164,000, rising 1.2 percent to $1.75. Pushpay Holdings fell 1.6 percent to $3.80 on a volume of 2.1 million shares, Infratil fell 1.3 percent to $4.30 on 1.6 million and Chorus was down 1.3 percent at $5.57 on a volume of 1 million.

Spark New Zealand, which typically trades on volumes of more than 5.8 million shares, rose 1.2 percent to $3.80 on a volume of 921,000 shares.

McIntyre said trading was quieter than usual with US and UK markets closed

Vista Group Entertainment posted the biggest increase on the benchmark index, up 2.6 percent at $5.94. It holds its annual meeting in Auckland on Wednesday.

Mainfreight, which reports tomorrow, was up 2.2 percent at $36. Arvida Group also reports tomorrow and was unchanged at $1.30.

Outside the benchmark index, Evolve Education dropped 9.5 percent to 13.4 cents after writing down the goodwill of its business by more than $100 million and reporting an annual loss of about the same size. The early childhood education provider expects a $63.5 million capital raise will support a new plan to turnaround the business over the next three years.

Of other firms reporting tomorrow, Blis Technologies rose to 4 cents and Eroad gained 4 percent to $3.09.

ANZ Bank New Zealand's 2023 bond paying annual interest of 3.7 percent was the most traded debt security. It closed at a yield of 2.32 percent, up 1 basis point, on a volume of 1.2 million notes. The Local Government Funding Agency's 2025 bond paying 2.75 percent traded on a volume of 1.2 million notes, closing at a yield of 2.04 percent, down 1 basis point, and Transpower's 2022 bond paying a 4.3 percent coupon closed at 1.96 percent, down 6 basis points.


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