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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain paced by Summerset

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; Summerset, Port of Tauranga rise

Aug. 13 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, paced by Summerset Group after it posted first-half earnings that almost tripled and Port of Tauranga after it unveiled plans to invest in Timaru’s port and use it as a feeder for larger overseas vessels visiting Tauranga.

The NZX 50 Index rose 3.522 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4525.821. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 19 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was about $115 million.

Summerset, the retirement village operator, gained 2.7 percent to $3.08 and is up 34 percent this year. Today it reported net profit rose 174 percent to $10.8 million in the six months ended June 30 as it sold more occupation rights and the value of its investment property more than doubled. Chief executive Norah Barlow is to step down after 12 years running the company.

“The results comfortably beat expectations,” said James Schofield, aged care analyst at First NZ Capital. “Retiring CEO Norah Barlow has put in place a strong platform for future demographic-driven growth.”

Rival retirement village operator Metlifecare gained 0.6 percent to $3.19. Ryman Healthcare, the biggest in the sector, was unchanged at $6.85.

Port of Tauranga gained 1.4 percent to $14.50 after announcing it has agreed to buy a half stake in PrimePort Timaru for $21.6 million and lease the South Island company’s container terminal, with the aim of turning it into a feeder port for a hub in Tauranga that can service a generation of larger overseas ships.

Shares in Moa Group plunged 26 percent to 87 cents after the beer brewer yesterday said its 2014 sales will miss forecast, and blamed its distributer for failing to deliver on its sales and distribution strategy. The Bakery Business-managed Trilogy International, a skincare products and scented candle maker, fell 3.8 percent to 76 cents, while Dorchester Pacific, another Bakery company, gained 9.5 percent to 23 cents.

Opus International Consultants fell 1.2 percent to $1.68 after the engineering company missed first-half profit expectations, turning in earnings of $9.4 million as the Mainzeal liquidation and reduced local government spending weighed on its New Zealand revenue.

PGG Wrightson rose 3.1 percent to 33 cents after the rural services firm wrote down the value of its goodwill by $321 million, sending annual earnings to a net loss of $306.1 million. Stripping out the impairment, net profit would have been $14.6 million, missing First NZ Capital expectations for net earnings of $19.4 million.

Chorus fell 1 percent to $2.94 after the Commerce Commission proposed a more modest cut to the regulated price of copper lines services than in its December draft determination, while saying retailer Telecom Corp’s decisions on how aggressively to unbundle services on the copper lines would influence how many end-users migrate to newer fibre technology. Telecom’s shares rose 0.7 percent to $2.295.

Fletcher Building fell 0.2 percent to $8.22 and Trade Me, the auction website, fell 2 percent to $4.85. Freightways, which posted earnings that met its own guidance yesterday, fell 0.5 percent to $4.08.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund fell 2.4 percent to $6.93 amid reports Belarus and Kazakhstan had imposed import restrictions amid the tainted whey protein scare. After trading, Fonterra said no contaminated product was sent to Russia, Belarus or Kazakhstan, and that it was working with the Customs Unions of the three nations to reassure them about the safety of the dairy company’s products.

Wynyard Group was unchanged at $1.26 after announcing a new alliance with fellow tech-based security firms Endace, Gallagher and Tait Communications in a bid to present a unified front when selling their services to prospective customers and coordinating their research and development to become more attractive in foreign markets.


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