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Orion bounces back after big US deal in mixed day of trading

Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 21 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $151 million.
Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 21 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $151 million.

New Zealand shares were mixed, as Orion Health Group gained from a record low on news of a major US deal while Sky Network Television fell, citing rising costs in a tight market.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 0.28 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 6224.99. Within the index, 21 stocks rose, 21 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $151 million.

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Orion jumped 15 per cent to $2.87 after announcing a deal to provide its Amadeus platform to Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Group, which has the potential to triple the number of patients it reaches. Shares of the unprofitable company have declined 55 per cent in the past two years as it chases sales growth in lieu of profits.

Coats rose 7.4 per cent to 51c. The British-based threadmaker has committed to retaining the 342 million generated from asset sales in an attempt to resolve its impasse with the UK Pensions Regulator over its three pension schemes. The company plans to delist from the NZX and ASX on June 24, leaving its shares tradeable only on the London Stock Exchange.

Sky TV fell about 2 per cent to $4.51 after the pay-TV operator posted a 5.8 per cent decline in first-half profit as the cost of content rose in an increasingly competitive market.

Meridian Energy rose 2.9 per cent to $2.50. While the power company announced an 11 per cent fall in first-half net profit this week, it also cited sufficient strength in underlying earnings to lift the interim dividend and declare a special dividend of 2.4c.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 2.9 per cent to $8.79 and Metlifecare, the retirement village operator, rose 1.1 per cent to $4.73 and has rallied since announcing this week that first-half profit more than tripled.

Air New Zealand dropped 2.5 per cent to $2.74.

Vector rose 0.6 per cent to $3.27 after the Auckland electricity and telecommunications infrastructure provider reported a 16 per cent lift in first-half profit to $100.1 million.

Delegat Group was unchanged at $5.93 and Vista Group International fell 2 per cent to $4.90 even after the cinema software firm beat its prospectus forecast for annual underlying profit as it doubled sales in the Americas, and signalled plans to start paying dividends in 2016.

Fruit marketer T&G Global was unchanged at $2.10 and SLI Systems rose almost 4 per cent to 79c after the online retail search engine developer narrowed its first-half loss as sales rose and costs were little changed.

- BusinessDesk

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