Friday 21st November 2008
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New Zealand shares rounded out a week-long slide that’s erased NZ$2.2
billion from the value of the NZX 50 Index amid the global stocks rout and profit
disappointments from local companies.
Pike River Coal led decliners on the NZX 50, sliding 7.5% to 87 cents. The benchmark index fell 66.6565, or 2.5%, to 2578.101 today. It has been up on only two days the past two week.
Pumpkin Patch continued its slide for a fourth day since chief executive Maurice Prendergast said 2009 earnings would weaken after an “extremely difficult” first quarter. It fell almost 6% to 80 cents today and has lost 20% since the statement.
“The market is driven by utter fear now rather than fundamentals,” said Rickey Ward, fund manager at Tyndall Investment Management. “I haven’t talked to any corporate that’s not battening down the hatches and starting to look at containing costs.”
Ryman Healthcare was among the six stocks to gain on the NZX 50 today, rising 3.7% to NZ$1.40. The biggest retirement home operator on the exchange posted a 10% gain in first-half profit to $26 million and forecast a similar second-half result on demand for its units. It lifted the interim dividend to 2.4 cents a share from 2.2 cents.
The company can control the pace of expansion as demand permits, helping minimize the impact of the downturn, Ward said.
Rakon halted a seven-day slide to gain 3% to NZ$1.03 today. The manufacturer of navigation components was among stocks punished this week after making a profit warning.
Mainfreight fell 2.6% to NZ$4.21 after New Zealand’s largest trucking company posted a 9.5% rise in operating profit after tax on the back of strong domestic sales volumes and rapid growth in the US market. Year earlier profit was NZ$77 million including a gain from asset sales. Sales jumped 63% to $625 million.
Tower gained 0.7% to NZ$1.44 after reporting a 17% gain in annual profit on earnings from its health and life insurance businesses. The insurer raised its dividend to 8 cents from 6 cents. The shares are down about 38% this year.
Lyttelton Port Co. soared 19% to NZ$2.68 after Christchurch City Holdings raised its controlling stake in the South Island’s largest port operator to 78.6% from 75%, paying NZ$2.75 a share.
Zintel Group was unchanged at 21 cents after the company reported first-half profit that was little changed at NZ$1.2 million. The telecommunications company predicted full-year earnings would about match last year’s.
The New Zealand stock market lagged behind the performance of equities across the region. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.7% to 3408.1 in a late trading rebound helped by advancing gold stocks Sino Gold and Lihir Gold. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.4% to 7735.32.
NZX Top 50
Last updated: 21/11/2008 5:09pm
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