Fletcher result weighs on stockmarket

22:15, Feb 19 2013

New Zealand shares trudged into the red, dragged down by market colossus Fletcher Building which reported a flat profit and falling revenue for the six months to December.

The NZX 50 Index fell 8.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,235.6 in the first 30 minutes of trade. Fletcher Building fell, and AMP rose.

Fletcher Building announced net earnings after tax of $146 million, up slightly on the $144m it reported at the same time the previous year.

Total revenue for the group decreased 3 per cent to $4.38 billion, in part due to the sale of several businesses in the past year.

Investors were clearly unhappy with the result, sending stock in the country's largest listed company down 3.1 per cent to $9.03.

Meanwhile Trade Me had a rosier result, reporting a 3 per cent increase in its interim net profit to $37.4 million.

The online auctioneer's stock rose 0.7 per cent to $4.44.

Global equities were broadly positive overnight. European stocks rallied off the back of better-than-expected German investor and analyst sentiment, which rose to its highest level in almost three years.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 continued its winning streak, adding 0.53 per cent to 1,527.82.

The local bourse saw two stocks rise for every one that fell, but big movements in Fletcher and Telstra reined in any upside for the benchmark index.

Australian phone company Telstra was the second biggest decliner, down 2.3 per cent to $5.65.

Ryman Healthcare, the retirement village operator, fell 0.4 per cent to $4.62. International trucking and logistics company Mainfreight fell 0.4 per cent to $11.95.

Australian wealth manager AMP led gainers, up 2.3 per cent to $6.75.

Heartland, the country's newest bank, rose 1.4 per cent to 75c.

EBOS Group, the medical and pharma products company, rose 1.1 per cent to $9.

SkyCity rose 0.8 per cent to $4.05. The casino and hotel operator said it was still willing to invest up to $350m into building a convention centre in return for more pokie machines and an extension of its license.