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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Port of Tauranga, AIA, NZX up

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise; Port of Tauranga, Auckland Airport gain before earnings

By Hannah Lynch

Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, paced by Port of Tauranga and Auckland International Airport ahead of their full-year results this week. Goodman Fielder gained after selling its Integro unit for A$170 million.

The NZX 50 Index rose 5.81 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3629.04. Within the index, 18 shares rose, 23 fell and 9 were unchanged. Turnover was a larger-than-normal $138 million.

Port of Tauranga, the nation's busiest port, rose 2.9 percent to $12.25 ahead of its full-year result tomorrow. The stock has gained about 19 percent this year. Forsyth Barr analyst Jeremy Simpson is forecasting a 15.5 percent rise in sales to $230.5 million and a 22 percent increase in reported profit to $70.6 million.

"I think the result will be one of the strongest results of the pack," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "I will be looking for commentary around the outlook and how many of the Auckland services will stay with them permanently."

Auckland International Airport, which is targeting Asian arrivals to stoke growth over the next decade, rose 1.5 percent to $2.62. The market consensus is for sales of $426.1 million and reported profit of $138.3 million. Its full-year result will be released on Thursday.

Shares in Air New Zealand were unchanged on 89 cents. The airline's earnings will also be released on Thursday. Forsyth Barr analyst Robert Mercer is forecasting a 3.5 percent increase in sales and a 22.1 rise in reported profit. The stock has gained about 1.7 percent this year.

Winemaker Delegat's Group was unchanged on $2.95 before its result tomorrow.

"The wine industry has been hard work and they have been a company that has bucked the trend," Lister said. "They have managed their company well and they are an exporter."

Goodman Fielder rose 2.9 percent to 70 cents. The food ingredients maker will sell its Integro unit to a consortium made up of GrainCorp and Gardner Smith. The proceeds will be used to pay down its debt.

The gainers were led by the NZX, the stock exchange regulator, up 4.9 percent to $1.07 after comments from Prime Minister John Key that he’s determined to see the sale and listing of state-owned power company MightyRiverPower this year.

Software company Diligent Board Member Services was unchanged on $3.70. It has received a cash payment plus interest for its US$3.2 million note receivable from Services Share Holding, ahead of the October deadline. The stock has gained about 94 percent this year.

Shares in A2 Corp were unchanged on 46 cents. The milk company has boosted its share of fresh milk sales in Australian supermarkets and opened a new Sydney facility to cope with growing demand across the Tasman. The stock has soared about 92 percent this year.

Shares in Heartland New Zealand fell 1.8 percent to 55 cents. The lender formed from the merger of Pyne Gould’s Marac Finance with the Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies, tripled annual profit as it reaped the benefit of acquiring PGG Wrightson’s loan book and was aided by a tax adjustment. Net profit climbed to $23.6 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $7.1 million a year earlier.

Shares NZ Windfarms, which operates Te Rere Hau windfarm in the Tararua Ranges, declined 2.7 percent to 14 cents after it posted a wider full-year loss taking an impairment charge against its assets and reporting power generation was 25 percent below budget.

The decline was led by Oceanagold, which operates the Macraes gold mine near Dunedin, down 3.4 percent to $3.15.


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