Market close: more records as Xero, Ryman, others hit new highs

Ryman rises 2.7% to $6.10, pushing its market value above $3 billion for the first time | Xero, up 6% to $14.90, now at $1.7 billion.

New Zealand shares rose, pushing the benchmark index to another record, as Xero, Ryman Healthcare and A2 Corp led companies making new highs.

The NZX 50 Index rose 33.40 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4614.37. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 23 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $144 million.

New Zealand stocks have been driven higher by local and overseas investors looking for more income than they get from fixed interest, while others have piled into companies with earnings potential, such as Xero, which is yet to turn a profit.

The market "has almost become irrational", says Rickey Ward, equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management. "It is very much a momentum driven market rather than driven by fundamentals."

Xero, the cloud-based accounting company, rose 6 percent to $14.90 for a market value of $1.7 billion. Its revenue in the 12 months ended March 31 was $39 million.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group gained 4.7 percent to $38.20 on the NZX after the Melbourne-based lender lifted first-half cash profit by 10 percent and raised its interim dividend to 73 Australian cents a share.

Ryman rose 2.7 percent to $6.10, pushing its market value above $3 billion for the first time.

"Ryman has been getting 15 percent earnings growth every year for the last decade," Mr Ward says. "If they can do it next year and provide a 2 percent dividend yield, an investor can see a comfortable 10 percent return."

Rival Summerset Group rose 2.7 percent to $3.08, a record high close, after confirming its build rate is on track this year. Metlifecare rose 1.7 percent to $3.55.

Fonterra Shareholders' Fund climbed about 2 percent to $7.81, also a record.

Auckland International Airport, the nation's busiest gateway, climbed 3.7 percent to $3.10. The airport has an expected annual return of 8 percent over the 2013-17 pricing period, at the top end of the Commerce Commission's estimated range for a reasonable return of between 7.1 percent and 8 percent, the regulator said in a statement today.

A2 Corp, which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, rose 1.5 percent to a record 70 cents. The company is beginning a sales push for infant formula manufactured by Synlait Milk and targeted at the Chinese market.

Sky Network Television, the pay-TV operator, rose 1.4 percent to $5.72.

OceanaGold, operator of the Macraes gold field, fell 5.9 percent to $2.40 after reporting a profit of US$7.1 million in the three months ended March 31, from a loss of $US3.9 million a year earlier as cash costs fell. Sales rose to $US95.6 million from $US88.6 million.

Fletcher Building rose 1.1 percent to $8.84 and Telecom gained 0.4 percent to $2.605.


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