MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall from near 5-year high; TEL dips

Jan. 4 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell, as a rally that has pushed the NZX 50 Index to near a five-year high, faltered on concern the gains have left some equities fully valued. Telecom paced the decline and Xero dipped.

The NZX 50 fell 7.328 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4075.038. Within the index, 18 stocks fell, 20 rose and 12 were unchanged. Turnover was $70.1 million.

Telecom, the biggest phone company on the exchange, fell 1.4 percent to $2.18. The shares are rated ‘underperform’ based on the consensus of 10 recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median price target of $2.23. Xero, the cloud-based accounting service that has soared 171 percent in a year, dropped 1.1 percent to $7.40.

“Investors need to be a little bit careful – on fundamentals some stocks look fully priced,” said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. “It will be interesting as we go into February and get earnings season underway to see how those companies are performing.”

Those that aren’t over-valued include Chorus, the network company spun off from Telecom in 2011, whose shares tumbled last month on the threat of increased control of its prices from the regulator. Its shares fell 2 percent to $2.91 today and have dropped 14 percent in the past month.

Contact Energy, another that Williamson says isn’t overpriced, rose 0.8 percent to $5.32. Potential listing of state-owned power companies this year have seen the stock marked down.

Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the NZX 50, rose 0.2 percent to $8.48. The company has sought clearance to sell its CSP Coating galvanised steel unit to Hamilton-based Perry Group as it looks to replace some of its treated metal products with imports.

Skellerup Holdings rose 3.1 percent to $1.67 and has gained 19 percent in the past 12 months. Tourism Holdings, the campervan company, jumped 9.2 percent to 71 cents.

Sky City Entertainment, the casino and hotel company, fell 1.1 percent to $3.75. It is up 9.2 percent in the past six months.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which gets more than 50 percent of its sales in US dollars, fell 2 percent to $2.41. Goodman Fielder, the Australian food manufacturer, fell 2.5 percent to 78 cents.

Mainfreight, the transport and logistics company, rose 0.9 percent to $11.81 and Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, fell 1.5 percent to $1.33.

(BusinessDesk)

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