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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares edge up to new 5-year high

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares edge up to new 5-year high; Air NZ confirms guidance

Nov. 28 (BusinessDesk) –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 percent, to 4012.15, the highest close since Jan. 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 percent to 37 cents, a level it last reached on Oct. 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, the airline slated for a selldown by its government owner, rose 2 percent to $1.27, matching its close of Oct. 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 percent 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 Dec. 31, down from a year-earlier profit of $4.2 million, it said.

Sanford, the country’s second-biggest fishing company by sales, was unchanged at $4.45 after posting a 6.7 percent 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 percent to $1.21 after the retail pharmacy and medical centre company lifted first-half profit 52 percent, bolstered by a full six-month contribution from Radius Pharmacy and Radius Medical, acquired in 2011.

New Zealand Oil & Gas rose 1.2 percent to 88 cents after saying it has agreed to acquire interests in three offshore Taranaki permits from ASX-listed Octanex for US$12.5 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 said.

A2 Corp, which markets milk products with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits, rose 1.5 percent 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 percent to $7.85. Telecom rose 0.6 percent to $2.345,

Children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch climbed 2.4 percent to $1.26 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 2.4 percent to $2.59.

(BusinessDesk)

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