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Market Close: Sharemarket falls even as results impress


Thursday 10th February 2011

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Logistics company Mainfreight (NZX: MFT ) delivered a strong result from a global business today and its share price fell 2.3% as profit-taking took over as the main theme in many markets.

The profit reporting season is gearing up, with Telecom (NZX: TEL ) reporting tomorrow, giving investors a chance to assess how the wider economy is performing.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed down 20 points, or 0.609%, at 3365.868. Turnover was worth $174.58 million, with $47.5 million of that in Telecom shares. There were 34 rises and 50 falls among the 118 stocks traded.

Mainfreight fell 19c to 820 after reporting a 27% rise in nine-month net surplus before abnormals to $34.6m.

"It was a strong result but it really is a classic scenario of buy the rumour and sell the fact," said James Smalley at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene.

The stock had had a strong run and investors were in the mood to take some money off the table.

"It is no reflection on the company. It is a very good result," Smalley said.

Steel & Tube (NZX: STU ) rose 12c to $2.39 on thin volume after reporting a 165% rise in half-year profit on a 6% rise in revenue. The company talked about marginal improvements in its markets.

Smalley said the profit improvement was from a low base and much of the improvement was due to better cost control rather than revenue growth reflecting a strong economy. Still, the result beat expectations.

AMP Office Trust (NZX: APT )was unchanged at 78c after reporting a 1.1% fall in half year distributable profit after tax. Goodman Property (NZX: GPT ) rose 1c to 94c and Property for Industry (NZX: PFI ) was unchanged at $1.15.

Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU ) fell 4c to $8.11 and Telecom eased 2c to $2.19.

Freightways (NZX: FRE ) fell 6c to $3.22 ahead of its result on Monday.

SkyCity (NZX: SKC ) fell 2c to $3.33 and Auckland Airport (NZX: AIA ) fell 4c to $2.23.

NZX (NZX: NZX ) rose just 2c to $1.74 and it was looking fairly side-lined in a scramble for mergers of exchanges. The ASX's share price soared today.

Brokers said big volumes of Telecom shares are trading, as institutional shareholders repositioning ahead of a change in the company's weighting in the S&P/ASX 200.

Turners & Growers rose 11c to $1.70, Ecoya rose 9c to 75c and Allied Farmers (NZX: ALF ) dipped to 1.9c.

In the United States, investors took profits on recent gains in US stocks, but a last-minute rise in Bank of America helped lift the Dow Jones industrial average to its eighth straight day of gains.

At the market close, the Dow Jones was up 0.1% to 12240, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 0.3% to 1321, and the Nasdaq composite index was down 0.3% to 2789.

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