MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; Fletcher rises

Article – BusinessDesk

Feb. 29 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, pacing a Asia-wide rally. Fletcher Building climbed 3.2 percent after government figures showed a jump in building consents while Auckland International Airport fell after posting first-half earnings.

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; Fletcher rises, Auckland Airport falls

Feb. 29 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose, pacing a Asia-wide rally. Fletcher Building climbed 3.2 percent after government figures showed a jump in building consents while Auckland International Airport fell after posting first-half earnings.

The NZX 50 Index rose 12.73 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3322.52. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 17 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $106.6 million.

Shares rose across the Asia-Pacific after better-than-expected industrial production figures from Japan and South Korea lifted optimism the region will cope with a Europe-driven slowdown in global growth.

Fletcher, the biggest company on the bourse, rose 20 cents to $6.54. Government figures showed an 8.3 percent increase in the issuance of new home building consents last month, primarily on the back of retirement villages in Canterbury. Separately, the National Bank Business Outlook showed firms were regaining confidence after a tepid end to 2011.

Auckland Airport, the nation’s biggest gateway and one of the last major companies to post their results this earning season, fell 1.6 percent to $2.40.

The company posted a 5.5 percent increase in first-half profit on passenger growth and the Rugby World Cup and said full-year earnings would be “at the higher end” of its guidance.

At the same time it flagged potential major capital spending in the next few years to build a new domestic terminal as the existing facilities are near capacity.

“It has been a strong performer over the last 12 months as they have benefited from the Rugby World Cup – perhaps people are factoring in some of these one-off events,” said Michael Milne, investment advisor at Craigs Investment Partners. “I expect the stock to be pretty flat. It will not go to much lower than where it is now.”

Fisher & Paykel Appliance, the whiteware manufacturer, fell 5.2 percent to 40.5 cents, leading the index higher. PGG Wrightson, the nation’s biggest rural services company, gained 2.6 percent to 40 cents.

Lyttelton Port, the biggest such operator in the South Island, rose 0.5 percent to $2.04. The company returned to profit in the first half on record trade volumes.

Profit was $2.8 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, from a loss of $10.1 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement.

Revenue increased 9.4 percent. Lyttelton also gave figures for ‘earthquake-adjusted profit’ of $9.5 million up from a $6.1 million a year earlier and said full year profit is expected to be between $16 million to $18 million on the same basis.

Wellington Drive Technology, the unprofitable manufacturer of energy-efficient motors, rose 5.3 percent to 20 cents after saying it would embark on a drive to slash costs and lift cash flow. It reported a loss of $14.7 million for calendar 2011, little changed from $14.8 million a year earlier. Sales increased 25 percent to $35 million.

Goodman Fielder was unchanged at 85 cents, having soared yesterday after Singapore’s Wilmar International emerged as a 10 percent holder of the company and said it may bid for more.

Summerset Group, the rest home company taken public by its private equity owners, rose 1.4 percent to $1.44. The company that listed in November missed its forecast for annual profit due to tax adjustments, but beat expectations for underlying earnings by 35 percent, it said today.

Rakon was the biggest decliner, falling 4.9 percent to 58 cents.

Telecom fell 0.2 percent to $2.14 and was the most actively traded stock today.

(BusinessDesk)

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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