The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) trundled lower yesterday, shedding 0.60 per cent to close at 33,506.60 as some holders of Nestle Nigeria shares divested to take profit.
The market had rebounded on Tuesday, appreciating by 0.25 per cent after five days of a bear run. Wednesday witnessed a higher growth of 1.12 per cent as the bullish sentiments were sustained, helped by impressive corporate action from Nestle for the 2012 financial year.
The company had announced a profit after tax of N21.13 billion for 2012, up by 28 per cent from N16.5 billion in 2011. Dividend per share rose by 47 per cent from N12.55 in 2011 to N18.50 in 2012. Shares in Nestle, consequently, jumped by 7.8 per cent to hit a record N981.00 per unit as excited investors swooped on the shares.
However, part of the previous day's gains were eroded Thursday as Nestle declined by 5.2 per cent to close at N930 a share, a development operators attributed to profit-taking. Market operators said although the firm reported an impressive corporate 2012 performance, some investors who had bought the shares a year ago, have seen the capital gain on the shares and decided to sell and exit instead of waiting for the dividends that would be paid on May 10.
The equity of Nestle has appreciated by 111 per cent in the last 12 months while it gained 40 per cent between January and last Wednesday.
Apart from Nestle that dipped by N50 to lead the laggards for the day, Okomu Oil Palm Plc also went down by N2.90 to close at N55.10. Cadbury Nigeria Plc ended N1.80 lower at N39.00.
In all, 40 stocks declined while 34 appreciated. Oil market stocks led the gainers as Total Nigeria Plc and Mobil Oil Nigeria garnered N5.59 and N4.03 to close at N145.59 and N130.00 respectively.
Equity turnover stood at 517.1 million shares valued at N5.273 billion exchanged in 6,183 deals, as against 433.155 million shares worth N4.350 billion traded in 7,2778 deals the previous day.