New Zealand shares fell on renewed concerns that Sky Network Television will struggle to maintain subscriber numbers in the face of new internet-based rivals.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index dipped 6.6 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6916.57. Within the index, 29 stocks dropped, 14 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $146.8 million.
Sky TV resumed its decline, which was temporarily reversed on Thursday, falling 3.4 per cent to $3.98 to make it the biggest decliner on the index. The stock dropped 26 per cent over four sessions since last Friday after saying subscriber numbers were expected to fall further, causing earnings next year to miss analyst estimates.
Westpac Banking Corp fell 1.9 per cent to $31.75, Heartland Bank shed 1.7 per cent to $1.17 and A2 Milk Co dropped 1.7 per cent to $1.79.
Warehouse Group declined 1.5 per cent to $2.70. The country's largest listed retailer lifted third-quarter sales 5.5 per cent to $672.2 million and said it was on track to meet its forecast annual profit of $61 million to $64 million, which would be up between 7-12 per cent on last year.
Xero was the biggest gainer, rising 7.3 per cent to $16.55, although it traded as high as $17 during the day. The cloud-based accounting software firm may reach positive operating earnings in 2018 and achieve bottom-line profit the following year, according to brokerage First NZ Capital following the release of its full-year results yesterday.
Xero posted a 67 per cent gain in revenue to $207 million while its net loss widened to $82.5 million. The company said it burned through $86 million in the latest year, down from $88 million a year earlier, and its cash holdings stood at $184 million at March 31, meaning it had enough left to reach breakeven without having to raise more capital.
New Zealand Refining Co rose 3.8 per cent to $2.75, Orion Health Group gained 3.3 per cent to $4.75, and Meridian Energy advanced 2.6 per cent to $2.73.
Outside the main index, APN News & Media, which is listed on Australia's ASX and the NZX, said yesterday it had raised $160 million from the institutional component of its entitlement offer, with an uptake of 95 per cent and the shortfall hoovered up at a premium. The Australian stock rose 12.4 per cent in mid-afternoon trading to A68c after a trading halt was lifted, while the NZX-listed shares, which trade infrequently last changed hands at 70c.