Market close: Shares edge up to five-year high, Air NZ confirms guidance
New Zealand shares edged up to a new five-year high as rural services company PGG Wrightson continued its ascent and Air New Zealand confirmed its guidance for a jump in full-year earnings.
The NZX 50 Index rose 2.54 points, or 0.1%, to 4012.15, the highest close since January 3, 2008. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 17 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $85.7 million.
Wrightson, whose shares have gained as investors flocked to the sale of units in the Fonterra fund, rose 2.8% to 37 cents, a level it last reached on October 10.
Fonterra's units, which give investors the rights to its dividends, were priced this week at the top end of the range.
Air New Zealand, slated for a selldown by its government owner, rose 2% to $1.27, matching its close of October 9, which was the highest since March 2011.
The company today reiterated its target for full-year earnings to more than double, driven by a rebound in the first six months of the year.
Tourism Holdings, which merged its campervan rental business with two rivals last month, fell 1.4% to 73 cents after forecasting a first-half loss on costs of the transaction and changes to accounting treatment of its US fleet.
The net loss will be $500,000 to $1 million in the six months ended December 31, down from a year-earlier profit of $4.2 million, it says.
Sanford, the country's second-biggest fishing company by sales, was unchanged at $4.45 after posting a 6.7% drop in full-year profit after it took charges on restructuring its Coromandel mussel farm and legal fees for its unsuccessful defence of claims it dumped waste oil off American Samoa.
Pharmacybrands rose 2.5% to $1.21 after the retail pharmacy and medical centre company lifted first-half profit 52%, bolstered by a full six-month contribution from Radius Pharmacy and Radius Medical, acquired in 2011.
New Zealand Oil & Gas was up 1.2 % to 88 cents after saying it has agreed to acquire interests in three offshore Taranaki permits from ASX-listed Octanex for %US12.5 million, plus a share of seismic costs.
"These new acquisitions sit well within NZOG's New Zealand exploration portfolio, as they build on the knowledge base developed from NZOG's Taranaki history and provide exposure to the developing western fairway," chief executive Andrew Knight says.
A2 Corp, which markets milk products with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits, rose 1.5% to 68 cents. The company today indicated its capital structure is under review as the company considers growth opportunities.
The shares had been halted from trading pending a statement after a media report that it was seeking to raise as much as $200 million, which it denied.
Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the bourse, fell 1.6% to $7.85. Telecom rose 0.6% to $2.345,
Children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch climbed 2.4% to $1.26 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2.4% to $2.59.