Market close: Stocks fall, led by Trade Me on lack of AGM sweeteners
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand shares fell, led by Trade Me, after the auction site told shareholders dividends and earnings would meet its prospectus targets, disappointing some traders who had hoped for an upgrade at the annual meeting.
Jeweller Michael Hill International led advancing stocks.
The NZX 50 Index fell 10.013 points, or 0.3%, to 3941.28. Within the index, 22 stocks fell, 14 rose and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $87.7 million.
The decline extends the drop in the benchmark index from the highest levels in almost five years last week. Trade Me declined 4.7% to $4.24 after saying a pickup in the economy had not eventuated as had been hoped at the time of last year's initial public offering.
"It ran up very strongly into the AGM," says Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. People had hoped "for a pleasant surprise that beat expectations". Even though the shares got punished, most trading today was done at higher prices than the close.
Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment chain, fell 2.2% to $1.80 and Warehouse Group fell 1.5% to $3.20.
Fletcher Building declined 2% to $6.92, falling below $7 for the first time this month. The company said today it will apportion its steel business within two other divisions – concrete and building products – in the face of tough trading.
Yesterday, the company was included in a government review of costs in the building industry.
Among smaller caps, Kirkcaldie & Stains fell 9.2% to $2.95, a day after it jumped 25% on the sale of its office and retail tower in Wellington's CBD.
The retailer said today that it made a bigger annual loss on a deteriorating performance from its unprofitable retail unit.
The company made a loss of $773,000 in the 12 months ended August 31 as its margins shrank.
Telecom rose 1.7% to $2.42 as it announced the departure of group human resources director Jan O'Neill as the latest senior executive to leave the company.
Abano Healthcare, which invests in specialist health clinics, gained 0.2% to $5.75 after saying first-half sales rose as much as 5%, though profit may be similar to the same period last year amid little growth in New Zealand and a downturn in Australia.
NZ Oil & Gas rose 1.2% to 86 cents after saying it has some $162 million available to acquire reserves.
PGG Wrightson was unchanged at 35 cents after Agria won an extension on money it had borrowed to fund its controlling stake in New Zealand's largest rural services company.