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NZX CLOSE: NZ shares mixed; Pike falls on capital raising, Contact gains

Wednesday 24th February 2010

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New Zealand shares were mixed. Pike River Coal fell after announcing plans to issue more shares and bonds for working capital to complete its mine. Contact Energy Ltd., which posted unchanged first-half earnings yesterday, was among gainers.

The NZX 50 Index rose 4.51, or 0.1%, to 3130.88. Within the index, 22 stocks fell, 16 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $95.9 million, with two thirds of the value made up of trading in Telecom Corp. and Auckland International Airport shares.

Pike River (NZX: PRC ) fell 4.3% to 90 cents after the South Island coal mine developer said it plans to raise $50 million selling shares and issue convertible bonds and a coal contract option to its biggest shareholder, New Zealand Oil & Gas. Delays at the mine site have slowed its first coal sales, depriving it of revenue to meet costs.

NZ Oil & Gas (NZX: NZO ) fell 1.9% to $1.54 after reporting a $6.5 million loss for the six months ended December 31, from a year-earlier profit of $54 million, reflecting reduced volumes from the Tui oilfield, lower global oil prices, the cost of writing off the Albacore exploration well, and its share of Pike's losses. 

"The reported loss does not reflect the underlying health of the company's balance sheet and expanding petroleum production," said chief executive David Salisbury.

Allied Farmers (NZX: ALF ) fell 7.3% to 10 cents. The finance group’s shares have jumped about in the past week after the NZX changed its mind about allowing the company into the NZX 50 Index immediately.

Goodman Fielder (NZX: GFF ), the Australian food maker, rose 3% on the NZX, to $1.98. Rakon Ltd., the maker of crystal oscillators used in mobile phones and navigation systems, climbed 3% to $1.02.

Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards (NZX: OBV ), which grows grapes for winemaker Delegat’s Group, fell 2.9% to $2 after reporting a narrower first-half loss of $599,000 and saying the outlook for the 2010 harvest is mixed. "Higher than average rainfall and cool spring temperatures have adversely impacted on early flowering chardonnay and pinot noir vines." Just 3,490 shares changed hands.

Delegat’s (NZX: DLG )  fell 0.8% to $2.66.

Comvita (NZX: CVT ) 3.5% to $1.80after announcing it had completed a global licensing and manufacturing deal with Nasdaq-listed Derma Science Inc. for its Medihoney wound-care line. The shares have doubled in the past 12 months.

Tourism Holdings (NZX: THL ), the campervan rental company that was dropped from the NZX 50 Index last year, fell 1% to 95 cents after turning to a first-half profit of $1.4 million, from a year-earlier loss of $265,000 a year earlier, helped by an upturn in trans-Tasman visitor numbers.  

Telecom (NZX: TEL ) rose 0.9% to $2.32, clawing back some of yesterday’s slide when it said profit would be at the low end of its forecast range because of compensation costs for outages on its troubled XT network.

Air New Zealand (NZX: AIR ) fell 1.5% to $1.32 and Nuplex Industries (NZX: NPX ) shed 1.5% to $3.35.

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