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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise on higher volumes

Article – BusinessDesk

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise on higher volumes; NZ Refining, Sky TV up, while Intueri, Trade Me, Air NZ fall

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise on higher volumes; NZ Refining, Sky TV up, while Intueri, Trade Me, Air NZ fall

By Sophie Boot

Jan. 29 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose on higher volumes, with New Zealand Refining Co and Sky Network Television rising, while Intueri Education Group, Trade Me Group and Air New Zealand fell.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 20.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6170.22. Within the index, 31 stocks rose, 13 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $161 million, a step up from other trading days this week which have ranged from $87 million to $99.7 million.

The biggest news was outside the benchmark index, with Intueri Education Group shares, which are on the S&P/NZX All Index, plummeting 32 percent to 36.5 cents. The Auckland-based company’s shares sank after it told the NZX that one of its colleges, Quantum Education Group, is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. The SFO confirmed it is investigating Intueri under Part 1 of the Act, allowing the SFO director to require the release of documents.

“Any market announcement with the Serious Fraud Office in the headline is never a good start,” said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. “It’s unsurprising the share price is being punished so aggressively. Any whiff of that uncertainty is going to cause huge concern for investors.”

New Zealand Refining led the NZX 50 Index, up 2.5 percent to $3.75, with Sky Network Television gaining 1.8 percent to $4.63, and A2 Milk Co advancing 1.6 percent to $1.84.

Trade Me was the biggest decliner on the benchmark, down 5 percent to $3.98.

“Our Trade Me analyst downgraded his recommendation to something a bit more subdued,” Lister said. “He’s gone a little bit cautious on it, simply because the share price has had a great run over the last six months and it’s got a bit ahead of itself, so maybe that’s seen a few people take some profits.”

Trade Me was downgraded to ‘sell’ from ‘hold’ by one analyst today, according to Reuters data.

Air New Zealand dropped 3.6 percent to $2.95. The shares are down 6.6 percent this week, having rallied throughout December and January with oil prices spiralling downwards.

“It’s getting a bit more competitive for Air New Zealand, and obviously they’re reducing prices – which is partly a good thing, it’s driven by lower fuel prices – but people see that as potentially impacting their earnings,” Lister said.

Xero fell 1.8 percent to $16.79. The cloud-based accounting software developer slowed its quarterly cash burn in the final three months of 2015 as it knuckles down on keeping a lid on spending.

Back outside the benchmark, Rakon shares shed 20 percent to 24 cents after the high-tech components maker warned annual earnings will miss forecast because major network operators have delayed their spending on new equipment.

IkeGPS dropped 2.9 percent to 68 cents. The company, which this month raised $900,000 from institutional investors, has downgraded its sales outlook for the 2016 financial year, citing a delay in orders for its new product to the first half of 2017.

Infratil fell 1.3 percent to $3.10. The company’s NZ Bus unit has missed out on a tender for South Auckland’s public transport services, where it currently runs about 153 buses.

ERoad declined 1 percent to $1.96. The logistics and fleet management software and hardware developer said it doesn’t expect to sell as many units in North America as previously forecast, but is still optimistic new US federal rules on electronic logging devices will widen the company’s market in the world’s biggest economy.

On a positive note, Fliway Group’s shares climbed 12 percent to a three-month high of $1.07, since announcing its first-half earnings beat prospectus forecasts, as the freight and logistics company contained costs in the face of falling revenue.

New Zealand Oil & Gas gained 3.8 percent to 41.5 cents. The energy exploration company is looking at several buying opportunities as plunging oil prices have flushed out sellers looking to restructure their portfolios.


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