MARKET CLOSE NZ shares fall, paced by Fletcher Building; Diligent rises
New Zealand shares fell with Australian shares amid investor caution ahead of this weekend's federal election. The declines were paced by Fletcher Building as investors took advantage of a gain in its price to sell for a profit.
The NZX 50 Index fell 7.173 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,597.178. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 18 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $222 million.
Fletcher, the biggest company on the NZX 50, fell 1.4 percent to $9.28. The stock has surged 13 percent since the construction company said last month that annual profit jumped to $326 million from $185 million a year earlier, when it took $132 million of charges.
"Fletcher Building has had a very strong run post its result," said James Smalley, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "There has been some profit taking there."
Diligent Board Member Services, the app-maker for boards of directors to assist governance and hit by a slew of administrative mis-steps, gained 1.1 percent to $5.35 after the company was publicly censured and fined by the New Zealand Markets Disciplinary Tribunal for numerous breaches of stock exchange listing rules. It received High Court approval to validate the issue of securities and options to some employees.
"The stock has been under quite a bit of pressure recently regarding some of these regulatory issues," said Smalley. "The market might be hoping that perhaps it is starting to reach the end of what has been a few own goals scored by the company. The market is saying that the worst could be over regarding these regulatory issues."
Sky Network Television bounced back, regaining the 12 cents in value that it lost after going ex-dividend on Sept. 4. The stock increased 2.1 percent to $5.83.
MightyRiverPower, the state-controlled power company, gained 1.8 percent to $2.26 as investors sought the stock ahead of it going ex-dividend on Monday.
Rakon, which makes crystal oscillators used in smart phones and navigation systems, slid 4.4 percent to 22 cents after the company said it expects a net loss of $54 million in 2014 after taking a $37 million one-time charge to write down the value of its Chinese investment and other assets and posting a trading loss of $17 million.
The company, which held its annual meeting in Auckland today, said the trading loss would include $7 million of one-time costs for operational adjustments. Excluding one-time items, the $10 million net loss compares with a $12 million net loss last year. However, it promised to pay dividends after the 2015 financial year, "if appropriate".
Trilogy International, the skincare products and scented candle maker, gained 1.5 percent to 68 cents after former Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe announced he would step down as a director after this month's annual meeting as he looks for a new full-time executive role in New Zealand. Fyfe has no intention to reduce his shareholding. He will be replaced by Australian-based Mandy Sigaloff, who founded online fashion website clubqt, and is a 17-year veteran in managing media brands for British media firm Emap.
Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the fruit grower and coolstore and packhouse operator, slid 0.5 percent to $2.04 after the company reported a 92 percent dive in first-half profit as the outbreak of Psa-V vine bacteria takes its heaviest toll on certain kiwifruit varieties. Net profit sank to $672,000 in the six months ended June 30, from $8.5 million a year earlier. Revenue dropped 16 percent to $67 million on declining kiwifruit volumes.