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Earning season optimism pushes NZ share up

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/08/2016 Jonathan Underhill

New Zealand shares rose, led by Ebos Group, Comvita and Spark on optimism the earnings season is heralding a favourable outlook. Exporter F&P Healthcare fell as the kiwi dollar traded above 73 US cents.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 16.98 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7427.28. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 18 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $169 million.

Ebos rose 2.4 per cent to $17.60 after posting a 20 per cent gain in full-year profit on revenue that reached $7.1 billion.

""It was a solid result and a positive surprise on the dividend," said David Price, a broker at Forsyth Barr. The earnings season "on balance has been better, with more upgrades than we were expecting. Certainly we've had a little bit of revenue growth. Dividends have been overs and unders."

Spark rose 2.2 per cent to $3.90 and Comvita rose 6.4 per cent to $10.35, leading the index higher.

The company changed its balance date and this week reported 15-month profit of $18.5m. That's broadly in line with the profit of $17.2m in the 12 months ended March 31, reflecting an extra three months which tend to be its quietest.

Genesis Energy gained 2.1 per cent to $2.24.

Summerset Group, which is adding more retirement village units as demand rises, gained 1.9 per cent to $5.47.

A2 rose about 1 per cent to $2.12, clawing back a bit of the 8.7 per cent it shed on Wednesday. This week it reported a return to profit that met its guidance in June and posted a 127 per cent gain in revenue.

Orion Health Group fell 2.3 per cent to $4.35 while F&P Healthcare dropped 2.1 per cent to $9.74. Metlifecare fell 1.1 per cent to $6.27.

"The underlying business of Healthcare is getting better but it is being undermined by the currency," Price said

Hellaby Holdings rose 1 per cent to $2.93 after reporting a 30 per cent decline in full-year profit. The results were in line with its guidance.

Methven rose 6.1 per cent to $1.39. The shower and tapware maker booked a $2.7m gain in its full-year net profit adjustments after cancelling an earnout agreement with the owner of the Chinese manufacturing facility it bought in 2014.

SLI Systems rose 7.5 per cent to 86 cents and Scales Corp fell 6.3 per cent to $3.28.

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