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NZ shares rise pushing NZX 50 to record

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/05/2016 Jonathan Underhill

New Zealand shares rose, pushing the S&P/NZX 50 Index to a new record after Infratil posted a gain in full-year earnings and said it has a $1 billion war chest to make acquisitions.

Heartland New Zealand advanced after reporting a gain in profit while Steel & Tube dropped after cutting its guidance.

The NZX 50 rose 7.77 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6982.64. Within the index, 24 stocks gained, 20 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $185 million.

Infratil rose 2 per cent to $3.375 after the Wellington-based investor said it has almost $730 million in cash and unused credit lines of about $270 million and it was looking at potential acquisitions.

Heartland gained 0.9 per cent to $1.18 after posting a 10 per cent gain in nine-month profit while delaying a planned return to shareholders, saying market volatility had created opportunities for acquisitions which may be a better use of its capital.

It affirmed guidance for profit of $51 million to $55 million for the year ending June 30, up from $36 million in 2015.

"The Heartland result was a little better than we expected," said Mark Lister, private wealth manager at Craigs Investment Partners.

Pushpay Holdings fell 3.1 per cent to $2.20 after the mobile payment app company posted a wider annual loss as it chased sales growth ahead of profit, reiterating its forecast to break even in 2017.

Intueri Education Group rose 8.1 per cent to 40 cents after the company told shareholders at their annual meeting that underlying earnings, before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the 2016 financial year will be slightly less than the $21.5 million achieved in 2015.

Steel & Tube Holdings fell 4.4 per cent to $2.15.

Auckland International Airport rose 2.2 per cent to $6.65, leading the index higher, Orion Health Group gained 1.7 per cent to $4.84 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.1 per cent to $10.08.

Trustpower rose 2 per cent to $8, Contact Energy rose 0.4 per cent to $5.37. Vector fell 0.6 per cent to $3.40, Mighty River Power fell 0.3 per cent to $3 and Meridian Energy declined 1.1 per cent to $2.79.

Trilogy international climbed about 4 per cent to $3.95.

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