MARKET CLOSE NZ shares rise for 8th session; A2, Telecom, POT gain

New Zealand shares rose, pushing up the NZX 50 Index for an eighth straight session, led by A2 Corp, Telecom, Port of Tauranga and Fletcher Building as investors mulled what is expected to be mixed results in earnings season.

The NZX 50 rose 37.907 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4606.24. Within the index, 34 stocks rose, seven fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $143 million.

Fletcher, the biggest company on the NZX 50, rose 1.9 percent to $8.70, matching its high of mid-May.

“Fletcher is quite volatile from day to day,” said Matthew Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management. “Clearly parts of its New Zealand business are travelling well while Australia is difficult, especially for Crane.” Generally it “will not be a one size fits all earnings season.”

Goodson said there is “a fair degree of nervousness about companies with exposure to Australia.”

A2 Corp, which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, rose 4.6 percent to 68 cents, the highest in more than a month. The shares have gained 45 percent in the past 12 months and were aided by the company’s April announcement of infant formula sales targeting the Chinese market.

Port of Tauranga, the nation’s biggest export port, rose 2.1 percent to $14.80. The company is rated a ‘sell’ based on analysts polled by Reuters, with a median price target of $13.90.

Telecom gained 3.1 percent to $2.365 and was the most active stock, with 6.2 million shares changing hands.

Diligent Board Member Services, which was forced to disclose a delay in its second-quarter earnings release after saying it needed to reassess how it booked revenue, extended its decline, falling 4.9 percent to $6.05.

“They’ve done impressively well with their business,” Goodson said. But disclosure issues are “at best untidy.”

Rakon gained 4.4 percent to 24 cents after founding family and major shareholders the Robinsons said they bought 0.2 percent of the GPS components maker on market last week. The Robinsons, who hold three of eight board seats and dominate the senior management, bought almost 367,000 for some $81,500.

Renaissance Corp rose 9.1 percent to 12 cents after the Apple products reseller and design school operator said it has shut four of nine retail stores in a bid to return the retail unit to profitability. Chief executive retail Youbee Doug Casement told BusinessDesk the retail focus is now on building up the remaining stores which provide service, rather than simply a straight retail offering.

MightyRiverPower climbed 2.6 percent $2.40, its highest close since May 31, after the stock exchange operator said the State-controlled power company will join the benchmark top 50 index later this month. Telstra Corp, which is losing its spot, was unchanged at $5.60.

Bathurst Resources was unchanged at 21 cents after the High Court dismissed an appeal on a side issue to its consents process to mine on the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau.

Financial services firm Dorchester Pacific rose 4.2 percent to 25 cents and insurer Tower gained 0.5 percent to $2.01 after the BNZ-BusinessNZ showed the country’s service sector was in good health last month. Contract labour firm AWF Group was unchanged at $3.00.


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