Sharemarket up in mixed trading

More stocks fall than rise but NZX 50 Index edges higher as Telecom, Xero and Fletcher Building gain ground

Telecom shares rose 2.4% to $2.305 yesterday. Photo / File
Telecom shares rose 2.4% to $2.305 yesterday. Photo / File

New Zealand shares were mixed yesterday, with gains in Telecom, Xero and Fletcher Building enough to lift the NZX 50 Index, while more stocks fell, including Sky Network Television and SkyCity Entertainment Group.

The NZX 50 rose 8.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4799.35. Within the index, 16 stocks rose, 21 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was $186 million and followed record trading on Tuesday, that was led by stocks included in MSCI indexes.

Telecom rose 2.4 per cent to $2.305 and Fletcher Building rose 0.3 per cent to $9.22. Xero rose 3 per cent to $34 and Air New Zealand gained 0.9 per cent to $1.635, the highest since the Government sold 20 per cent of the airline last week at $1.65 apiece.

SkyCity fell 1.6 per cent to $3.72 and was the most heavily traded stock by value, at $33.7 million. It was among companies added to the MSCI small cap New Zealand index on Tuesday.

"The market has still been getting a little bit of carry-over from the volumes (on Tuesday), when the MSCI weightings kicked in," said James Smalley, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.

Sky TV fell 1.4 per cent to $5.77, with $16.5 million of shares traded. John Hart, a director of the company, has sold 20,000 shares, leaving him with 5000, according to a disclosure.

Tourism Holdings jumped 18 per cent to $1, the highest close since March 2010 after telling shareholders at their annual meeting that the benefit of last year's merger with United Campervans and KEA Campers, and a strong performance in the US would lift first-half pre-tax earnings by 15 per cent, while it would return to a net profit of $2.5 million from a year-earlier loss of $500,000.

Vector was unchanged at $2.60 after its BBB+ credit rating was put on creditwatch negative after Standard & Poor's changed its methodology in rating industrial and utility companies, saying New Zealand's regulatory regime was less stable and a higher risk than other jurisdictions.

Mighty River Power fell 0.9 per cent to $2.18 after it said its credit rating wouldn't be affected by the change in methodology. Contact Energy fell 1 per cent to $4.89, while Meridian Energy slipped 0.5 per cent to $1.015.

Among companies in the NZX 50 shedding rights to their dividend were TrustPower which fell 3 per cent to $6.47, Infratil down 1.6 per cent to $2.40. Clothes retailer Hallenstein Glasson dropped 3.6 per cent to $4.26 and Warehouse Group fell 1.3 per cent to $3.74. DNZ Property Fund dropped 1.6 per cent to $1.52.

Companies going ex-dividend not on the benchmark index were AWF Group, which was unchanged at $2.90 and Acurity Health Group, which gained 1.6 per cent to $5.20.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund fell 0.9 per cent to $6.41 after Fonterra Co-operative Group held its annual meeting, and affirmed its 2013 payout to farmer shareholders of $5.84 per kilogram of milksolids and a 32c a share dividend. It also affirmed its forecast payout for the 2014 season of $8.30 per kg milksolids and a 32c dividend.

Pharmacybrands rose 4.7 per cent to $1.33 after profit rose to $8.97 million in the six months ended September 30, from $7.55 million a year earlier. Sales rose 3.6 per cent to $127.9 million, based on a new accounting standard that saw it consolidate revenue from partly owned stores.

New Zealand Refining fell 2.6 per cent to $2.24 after it said refining margins at at Marsden Point had slumped to levels not seen since 2009, and warned that borrowings would peak at up to $120 million more than expected to complete the major upgrade under way.

- BusinessDesk

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