Market close: shares drop as Skellerup, Nuplex, Fletcher slide

New Zealand shares fell, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a month-low as Skellerup Holdings and Nuplex Industries missed profit expectations and cut guidance, and Fletcher Building continued its correction after its results yesterday.

The NZX 50 fell 43.81 points, or 1 percent, to 4170.4, the lowest close since Jan. 18. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 12 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was a higher than average $193 million.

Skellerup fell 6.7 percent to $1.53 after the industrial rubber goods maker reported an 18 percent slump in first-half profit to $9.5 million, missing expectations and cut its annual earnings forecast to $20 million.

Nuplex, the specialty chemicals maker, fell 4 percent to $3.33 after posting first-half profit that more than halved to $11.5 million and cutting its annual guidance, blaming the strength of the currency and weak trading conditions in Australia and Europe.

Fletcher Building, which missed some analyst estimates on weak trading in Australia, fell 3.6 percent to $8.55.

"The market got ahead of itself on expectations and companies are missing those expectations," says Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "The market is realigning back to healthier levels. It's a healthy correct."

OceanaGold, operator of the Macraes gold field, dropped 10 percent to $2.61 as the price of spot gold fell to a seven-month low.

Contact Energy declined 1.9 percent to $5.30 after parent Origin Energy posted a 34 percent drop in first-half profit and Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating to BBB from BBB+.

Summerset Group, the retirement village operator, fell about 2 percent to $2.49 after Auckland Council turned down its application to build a new village in Hobsonville.

Auckland International Airport, the nation's busiest gateway, was unchanged at $2.705 after posting an 11 percent increase in first-half profit and lifting its full-year guidance as growth in domestic passenger traffic made up for a decline in those from overseas. Some 8.9 million shares changed hands.

Port of Tauranga, the nation's busiest export port, rose 0.3 percent to $13.85 after reporting record first-half earnings on increased volumes export volumes of dairy products, meat and logs. The company affirmed its full-year guidance.

AMP climbed 2.4 percent to $6.76 after reporting a 2.3 percent gain in full-year net profit to $A704 million.

Precinct Properties New Zealand, formerly known as AMP NZ Office, rose 2.4 percent to $1.05, leading gainers on the NZX 50. The property group this week announced an interim dividend of 2.56 cents from 2.5 cents a year earlier.

Vector rose 0.7 percent to $2.85 after reporting a 10.8 percent improvement in tax-paid profit for the six months to December 31 to $118 million in a flat economy.

Ebos Group, the medical and pet supplies company, rose 0.6 percent to a record close of $9.15. This week it lifted first-half profit by 29 percent on the contribution of its Masterpet business, acquired a year earlier.

"The company came out with a fantastic result," Mr Williamson says.

(BusinessDesk)

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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7733 -0.0013 -0.17%
AUD 0.9501 -0.0003 -0.03%
EUR 0.6313 -0.0023 -0.36%
GBP 0.4955 -0.0002 -0.04%
HKD 5.9975 -0.0098 -0.16%
JPY 92.7030 0.1190 0.13%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1195.4 -2.890 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Brent 61.4 1.580 2014-12-19T00:
Oil Nymex 57.1 2.910 2014-12-19T00:
Silver Index 16.0 0.096 2014-12-19T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5527.8 5553.7 5527.8 0.25%
NASDAQ 4759.0 4779.2 4765.4 0.20%
DAX 9827.3 9924.0 9787.0 0.81%
DJI 17812.2 17911.6 17804.8 0.49%
FTSE 6545.3 6620.9 6545.3 0.48%
HKSE 23264.0 23478.9 23116.6 1.26%
NI225 17685.5 17692.6 17621.4 0.08%