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Contact, Port of Tauranga lead shares rise

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/02/2017 Sophie Boot

Port of Tauranga. © Shutterstock Port of Tauranga. New Zealand shares gained on Tuesday, with Port of Tauranga, Metlifecare and Contact Energy rising, while stock market operator NZX dropped after posting its earnings.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 15.39 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,150.89. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 17 fell and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $126.93 million.

"It's a bit of a continuation of a theme - some good strong days offshore, we've followed most of the day, so it's a broad-brush rise today," said David Price, broker at Forsyth Barr. "It wasn't particularly large, the real brunt of reporting season is next week.''

Port of Tauranga rose 2.3 per cent to $4.45, Metlifecare gained 1.7 per cent to $5.50, and Vista Group International advanced 1.6 per cent to $5.59.

Contact Energy rose 1.2 per cent to $4.93. On Monday it posted a 12 per cent gain in first-half underlying profit to $82 million while holding its dividend unchanged and trimming capital spending the face of weaker sales.

NZX was the worst performer on the index, dropping 2.6 per cent to $1.11. The stock market operator's annual profit dropped 62 per cent to $9.2 million as it faced mounting costs from the protracted Ralec litigation.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 8.4 per cent to $22.5 million, as operating expenses climbed 13 per cent to $55 million, outpacing a 6 per cent gain in revenue to $77.5 million.

Trade Me Group fell 1.7 per cent to $5.11, Skycity Entertainment Group dropped 1.5 per cent to $3.87, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp declined 1.4 per cent to $8.97.

Outside the benchmark index, New Zealand Oil & Gas was unchanged at 63 cents. The Wellington-based company, which is on the prowl for new investment opportunities, has sold its 27.5 per cent stake in the Tui oil fields off the coast of Taranaki for US$750,000.

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