MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; Xero, GPG, Air NZ advance

Article – BusinessDesk

Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) New Zealand shares rose as cloud-based accounting firm Xero reached a customer milestone, large volumes of Guinness Peat Group traded off-market and Air New Zealand continued to benefit from its improving profits.

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; Xero, GPG, Air NZ advance

Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose as cloud-based accounting firm Xero reached a customer milestone, large volumes of Guinness Peat Group traded off-market and Air New Zealand continued to benefit from its improving profits.

The NZX 50 Index gained 20.455 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4540.97 as the earnings season winds up. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 18 fell and four were unchanged. Turnover was a higher-than-average $185 million, including about $60 million of Auckland Airport shares and $24 million of GPG.

“Looking over the reporting season as a whole, I don’t think there were any major disappointments,” said James Smalley, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “On the whole it has been a reasonably solid reporting season.”

Xero rose 6.3 percent to $16.80 after the Wellington-based company crossed the 200,000 customer number, adding 7,000 in the last month and doubling its paying clients in 13 months, it said in a statement. Of that, Xero has built up 75,000 customers in Australia, up from 51,000 at the end of March.

“Xero is creeping back up. They have just had that announcement of having that 200,000th customer,” Smalley said. “It’s more of a sentiment thing, the volume is nothing to speak of.”

GPG rose 4.6 percent to 57.5 cents, with 41.7 million shares changing hands in the second day of heavy trading. The company said this week it is focusing on cutting costs as an investigation by the UK pensions regulator delays its plan to wind up most of its investments and focus on Coats.

Air New Zealand rose 2.2 percent to $1.42 a day after posting a jump in annual profit an announcing a bigger dividend after lifting international passenger revenue and keeping a lid on costs.

Heartland New Zealand fell 2.3 percent to 85 cents as PGG Wrightson confirmed it had exited its stake in the nation’s newest lender.

Diligent Board Member Services fell 2.3 percent to $4.69 after missing the deadline to file its results as it works to restate revenue for the past few years.

“It’s one of these stocks that was real flavour of the month and has definitely lost its glamour with these ongoing issues and now having to restate its accounts, and obviously a number of investors are voting with their feet at the moment,” Smalley said.

MightyRiverPower rose 0.5 percent to $2.23.

“MightyRiver continues to slowly creep its way back up after what was a pretty good result,” Smalley said. “Weighing upon it is simple capital flows, with Meridian coming up it’s going to be a very, very large float in that area of the market.”

Telecom rose 1.6 percent to $2.275 and Fletcher Building gained 0.2 percent to $8.76.

(BusinessDesk)

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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