NZ shares fall led by Metro Performance Glass

By Sophie Boot

The NZX ticker on the building downtown. Photo / File
The NZX ticker on the building downtown. Photo / File

New Zealand shares fell as Metro Performance Glass, Ryman Healthcare and Auckland International Airport declined while A2 Milk gained following its annual meeting.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 32.55 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,816.4. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 19 rose and five were unchanged. Turnover was $158.1 million.

Metro Performance Glass led the index lower, down 3.9 per cent to $2. The company yesterday reported a 5 per cent gain in first-half profit to $11.5 million on a 23 per cent lift in revenue to $116.3 million, as it benefited from a strong local construction market and booked a one-time gain from its acquisition of Australian Glass Group

"It's a little weak following yesterday's result, the stock's been an extremely strong performer of late but there probably wasn't quite the operational leverage that some of the bigger bulls in the market would've been hoping for," said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.

"The company needs to deliver a result that they are cranking in this environment - because if not now, then when? You could not have a better environment."

Ryman Healthcare fell 2.7 per cent to $8.58, Auckland International Airport dropped 2.4 per cent to $6.05, and Sky Network Television declined 2.2 per cent to $4.43.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare lost 0.6 per cent to $8.66 despite the medical device maker increasing first-half profit 26 per cent to $78.2 million and widening its margins. It reiterated its forecast for a record annual profit this year.

"It's a good strong result, there's a slight guidance upgrade although that relates mainly to currency, but the core business is performing as well as ever," Goodson said. "The share price has been under a bit of pressure over the past few weeks, after an initial spike today it's settled down again. There's been a general de-rating of high multiple stocks across Australasia, and there's a tit-for-tat patent dispute with Resmed and just a bit of concern about those."

A2 Milk Co was the best performer on the index, up 4.8 per cent to $2.17 after providing a trading update for the four months to October at its annual meeting in Sydney today.

"It was a strong trading update on margins as opposed to volumes, they certainly seem to be shrugging off the weakness some of their Australian competitors, in particular, have suffered from," Goodson said. "Certainly for now, A2 is performing straight through concerns."

Xero gained 2.2 per cent to $18.91 and Genesis Energy rose 1.8 per cent to $2.

Outside the benchmark index, Turners rose 4.9 per cent to $3.44. The financial services firm, formerly known as Dorchester Pacific, expects a "significant" earnings uplift after buying motor insurer Autosure from Suncorp New Zealand for $34 million.

NPT fell 4.5 per cent to 64 cents. The listed property investor lifted first-half profit 2.3 per cent and says it's still considering a hostile bid from rival Augusta Capital.

No buyers have emerged for the children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch, meaning the company will sell all stock and be wound down, with 63 people losing their jobs this week, the receivers said. They had received some interest in buying the Pumpkin Patch brand name and will now "run a process to optimise the value of that asset." The shares last traded at 6 cents before being placed in a trading halt.

Administrators of crime-fighting software company Wynyard have sold its Cognevo division to Australian telecoms giant, Telstra. Christchurch-based Wynyard went into voluntary administration last month after failing to secure emergency funds to keep it going, with the shares last trading at 21.5 cents, having listed at $1.15 per share. The administrators warned investors that "it is already apparent that there will not be any returns for shareholders arising from the administration."

"It was clearly a valuable part of their business and in many ways not a surprise to see it sold - clearly the receivers have to act quickly there given the cost and cash burn that have been loaded into the business by past management," Goodson said.

- BusinessDesk

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