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NZ sharemarket rises as Telecom languishes

The New Zealand sharemarket rose today even though the share price of market heavyweight Telecom languished near an all-time low set yesterday.The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 19.727 points, or 0.6%, at 3220.686. Overall there were 47 rises and 46 fa

NZPA
Thu, 18 Mar 2010

The New Zealand sharemarket rose today even though the share price of market heavyweight Telecom languished near an all-time low set yesterday.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 19.727 points, or 0.6%, at 3220.686. Overall there were 47 rises and 46 falls among the 110 stocks traded, on turnover worth $79.5 million.

Telecom rallied early in the day and traded as high as $2.18, but by the close was up 1c at $2.15, just off the all-time low of $2.13. Telecom has a 10.84% weighting in the NZX-50, according to Reuters data, second behind Fletcher Building on 13.18%.

"Telecom trading was just ebbs and flows of the market," said James Lee, head of wholesale equites at First NZ Capital. "The broader market is higher, and Contact Energy and Fletcher Building are leading the charge."

Brokers have said investors are worried that Telecom's earnings outlook implies lower dividends for the next few years. Some are switching to other high-yielding utilities.

Retailer Kathmandu rose 19c, or 8.7%, to $2.38 after reporting first-half sales rose 27.5% and an increase in profit.

Mr Lee said the market was expecting earnings before interest and tax of $13.5 million and it came in at $15.5 million.

"It was a better-than-expected result through good cost control and good revenue growth," he said. "All-in-all, it was one of the better retailing results."

Fletcher Building rose 19c to $8.32 and Contact Energy rose 4c to $6.03.

The Warehouse gained 2c to $3.86, Freightways rose 6c to $3.12, while Auckland Airport slipped 4c to $1.91.

Air New Zealand was unchanged at $1.32 ahead of a release today that detailed a restructuring of its transtasman and Pacific services.

Smartpay rose 0.3c to 4.1c after saying it had signed one of its biggest deals to date to upgrade Mitre 10 New Zealand's point of sale payment system.

Horizon Energy fell 35c to 340 and Pan Pacific Petroleum fell 1c to 30.

NZ Oil & Gas rose 1c to $1.58 on a day in which its $1.3 billion Kupe joint venture gas project in Taranaki was officially opened by Prime Minister John Key.

NZPA
Thu, 18 Mar 2010
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NZ sharemarket rises as Telecom languishes
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