Market close: Shares rise, paced by Air NZ on share buyback plan

New Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon

BUSINESSDESK: Local shares rose, paced by Air New Zealand it said the share price does not reflect the airline's financial performance and it to commence a share buyback scheme. Telecom and Auckland International Airport led declining stocks.

The NZX 50 Index rose 25.11 points, or 0.7%, to 3834.14. Within the index, 30 shares rose, 9 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was about $116 million.

Air New Zealand rose 5.4% to $1.16 and has gained 23% this year. The airline reaffirmed its outlook statement and said it's on track to "more than double normalised earnings before taxation", which clocked in at $91 million in the year to June 30.

"It is a positive sign operationally and financially," says Shane Solly, portfolio manager at Mint Asset Management.

Fletcher Building, New Zealand's largest construction company, gained 1.6% to $6.67. Port of Tauranga, the nation's busiest port, rose 1.9% to $12.69. SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino company in talks with the government to build Auckland's convention centre, increased 1.6% to $3.78.

Metlifecare, the retirement village operator, rose 0.4% to $2.90. It wants shareholders to sign-off on a 67%  rise in the pool for directors' fees after expanding its operations in the merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care. The stock has gained 28% this year.

Shares in rival retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare, rose 1.2% to $4.10.

Stock exchange operator NZX rose 0.9% to $1.13 after appointing former commerce minister Simon Power and TVNZ and NZ Cricket director Therese Walsh to its board, effective December 1.

The gainers were led by OceanaGold, up 8.1% to $4.

"The price of gold is having a strong run," Mr Solly said. "People are becoming more optimistic about the price of gold after the weakening US dollar."

Pumpkin Patch down 1.7% to $1.16. The children's clothing chain yesterday posted a 20% decline in full-year earnings to $10.1 million, meeting its forecast, as "challenging retail conditions" in all markets squeezed margins.

Telecom, the largest company on the NZX, fell 1.6% to $2.38. Auckland International Airport shed 0.4% to $2.62.

Dorchester Pacific, which avoided failure in 2010 by convincing investors to accept a debt-for-equity swap, rose 25% to 20 cents. It agreed to buy debt collection company EC Credit Control from its owner-manager for $18.5 million in cash, stock and earn-outs.

Zintel Group, the NZAX-listed telecommunications company, soared 7% to 46 cents after its shareholders voted in favour of delisting and giving the board the power to call in liquidators after the company sold all of its operating units and resolved a legal dispute.


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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.6584 -0.0016 -0.24%
AUD 0.9023 -0.0028 -0.31%
EUR 0.5993 -0.0041 -0.68%
GBP 0.4218 -0.0012 -0.28%
HKD 5.1100 -0.0061 -0.12%
JPY 81.6220 -0.2770 -0.34%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1094.9 6.310 2015-07-31T00:
Oil Brent 52.2 -1.100 2015-07-31T00:
Oil Nymex 47.1 -1.410 2015-07-31T00:
Silver Index 14.8 0.060 2015-07-31T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5891.9 5937.6 5891.9 0.49%
NASDAQ 5148.2 5155.0 5128.8 -0.01%
DAX 11271.3 11309.0 11257.1 0.46%
DJI 17755.9 17783.6 17746.0 -0.32%
FTSE 6668.9 6705.4 6668.9 0.41%
HKSE 24650.9 24661.2 24498.0 0.56%
NI225 20506.5 20585.2 20522.8 0.30%