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A2 and Mainfreight lead NZX higher

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/11/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand shares rose, led by A2 Milk and Mainfreight which both set new records, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 35.07 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,851.46. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 17 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $185.6 million.

A2 Milk Co led the index, up 6.5 per cent to a record price of $2.31, following Tuesday's publication of a trading update for the four months to October at its annual meeting in Sydney.

"I think I've said in the past once it breaks through into a different trading range it's off - it's going to have to be something material to drive it back below that $2.25 mark in the short term," said Peter McIntyre, investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners.

"When your net profit multiplies sixfold in the first four months, that's the kind of per centage gain you're going to see. As long as they maintain good supply, and the market has this insatiable desire for their profit, you're going to see the share price very well bidded for."

SkyCity gained 4.7 per cent to $3.99 and Sky TV advanced 3.8 per cent to $4.60.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was the worst performer, down 5.9 per cent to $8.15. The medical device maker increased first-half profit 26 per cent to $78.2m, widening its margins in its first-half results yesterday, and reiterated its forecast for a record annual profit this year.

"That was a solid result yesterday, but the market's clouded by the prospect of litigation from Resmed coming to fruition far quicker, some are saying it could happen within 18 months time so you're seeing a de-risking of portfolio positions," McIntyre said.

Tower dropped 4.6 per cent to 73.5 cents, while Heartland Bank declined 2.6 per cent to $1.48.

Mainfreight gained 1.8 per cent to a record $20.05, having gained 28 per cent this year, and Argosy Property was unchanged at $1.05.

Outside the main index, Pushpay dropped 3.2 per cent to $1.79. The mobile payments app developer says it will acquire a church app business from Bluebridge Digital for $US3.1 million ($NZ4.4m), continuing an expansion that saw revenue soar 308 per cent in the first half while its net loss widened to $US11.3m ($NZ16.0m).

Arvida Group gained 0.9 per cent to $1.15, Abano Healthcare was unchanged at $8.41 and Serko was unchanged at 35 cents.

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