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MARKET CLOSE: shares gain as Turners Auctions beats guidance, Michael Hill gains

 New Zealand stocks rose as Turners Auctions beat its earnings guidance and investors looked ahead to results from jeweller Michael Hill International and Vital Healthcare Property Trust tomorrow.

The NZX 50 Index rose 3.556 points or 0.1 percent to 4873.528. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 22 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $120 million.

Used-car auction house Turners Auction rose 13 percent to $2.65, an eight year high. Net profit rose 14 percent to $4.8 million in calendar 2013, beating its November forecast increase of 10 percent.

"Turners Auction was the surprise of the day, delivering an unexpected great result and market reaction was positive," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Brisbane-based Michael Hill rose 1.5 percent to $1.40. Vital Healthcare gained 0.4 percent to $1.275. Both companies are due to report earnings tomorrow. First NZ Capital analysts have forecast a 5 percent gain for Michael Hill's net profit, and a 3 percent gain for Vital Healthcare.

SkyCity Entertainment Group was up 0.3 percent to $3.66. The casino operator delivered its results yesterday, which were down on the previous year, but not as much as the market expected, said Williamson.

Auckland International Airport declined 0.5 percent to $3.62, after the Commerce Commission reaffirmed that Christchurch International Airport is setting prices too high, reminding investors of the threat of regulation.

"Any sort of comment like the Commerce Commissions does have an impact on industry prone to regulation, and will create a bit of selling," Williamson said.

Network provider Chorus fell 1.7 percent to $1.47. Chorus is facing regulated price cuts from December this year, unless the government pushes back on the commission's decision.

Government-controlled energy company MightyRiverPower fell 0.8 percent to $1.975 and Contact Energy was down 0.2 percent to $5.19. The opposition Labour Party and the Greens have vowed to regulate the electricity market if they win this year's election.

Retirement village operators were down today as investors took the opportunity to take some profit from the well-performing stock. Summerset Group Holdings sank 2.4 percent to $3.29. Ryman Healthcare slipped 1 percent to $7.60 and Metlifecare dropped 0.5 percent to $4.03.

"There's been a bit of profit taking. Investors think the sector has had a good run and time to take some profit and look elsewhere," Williamson said. "The outlook is still exceedingly positive, although some analyst valuations put it as a little bit stretched."

Telecom rose 1.3 percent to $2.42. Cloud-based accounting software firm Xero gained 0.6 percent to $40.15. The nation's largest listed company Fletcher Building was up 0.4 percent to $9.45.

(BusinessDesk)

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Comments and questions
1

Commentary on the retirement sector doesn't seem correct. SUM was at the bottom of its primary trend line and traded lower on little volume. 'Profit taking' at the bottom of the trend line is absolute nonsense.

You've just made up reasons for movement.