MARKET WRAP: NZ shares rise as F&P Healthcare shares hit record high

New Zealand shares gained slightly today off the back of a record high for the share price of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

The NZX50 index rose just 0.87 points to 8,978.18, on turnover of $197 million.

First NZ Capital wealth management advisor Johnny Cochrane says Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Air New Zealand led the market into the green.

Air New Zealand was the biggest mover, gaining 2.4% to $3.20.

Mr Cochrane says the company had an investor day in Auckland at which it reaffirmed its positive full-year 2018 outlook.

“Despite the rising price of jet fuel, it expects its full-year 2018 earnings to exceed last year,” he says.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare had a day to remember, as its shares hit an all-time high at $15.06. Its shares last traded at $15.01, a 27c, or 1.8%, rise for the day.

“We believe that the move in the stock over recent weeks is due to large offshore buying,” Mr Cochrane says.

He says the company comprises 8.7% of the index so the 1.83% move is probably what pulled the market into the green. Investors have their sights set on the stock after the company produced its highest profit ever last week, and forecasts it to grow again this year as demand increases. New Zealand's biggest listed healthcare company saw net profit after tax rise 12% to $190.2m in the year to March 31, at the top end of its forecast $180-190m.

Vista Group was up 20c, or 5.4%, to $3.90 following yesterday’s announcement that it had signed a deal with Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, France’s largest cinema chain.

Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont will engage the Vista Cinema management software suite for the sale of tickets and concessions across the French circuit of 69 sites and a total of 773 screens.

New Zealand King Salmon gained 13c, or 5.8%, to $2.37. The company has just been through its worst ever summer but says it still expects to reach the top end or higher of its profit guidance of $24.5m to $26m for the 12 months to June 30. 

The company says it’s possible that next year will be more profitable, even though it’s forecasting that its harvest will match this year. 

Spark shares fell 0.5c to $3.80.  The telco is giving about 40% of its staff a week to consider new contracts or leave the company.

The move comes as part of its "Quantum" restructure, under which employees and managers are being asked to embrace new "Agile" or flexible ways of working.

Tourism Holdings shares rose 7c to $6.74. Mr Cochrane says its introduction to the MSCI index after May 31 has led to increased interest from overseas.

In the same price range is Fletcher Building, which couldn’t stay above water, its share price fell 9c to $6.75. 

A2 Milk shares were unchanged at $11.50. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset managers disclosed a 5% stake in the company earlier in the week.

However, A2’s supplier, Synlait Milk, slipped 24c to $10.55.