New Zealand shares were mixed as Orion Health Group plunged following its first half results, while Sky Network Television and Contact Energy gained.
The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 3.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,902.95. Within the index, 25 stocks fell, 17 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $107.3 million.
Orion Health dropped 18 percent to $2.05. The health software developer narrowed its first-half loss to $18 million after boosting sales of perpetual licences in North America and cutting operating costs, and said it would make a profit in 2018. Sales rose to $104.2 million from $101.7 million.
"To put it bluntly, they've had a shocker - a terrible result, nothing good in it at all really and the market is very disappointed in pretty meagre revenue growth," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners. "There's not a lot of transparency from the company about why they're missing expectations, and you're now starting to see concern creep in about the amount of cash they're burning through, and whether they've got enough left to get them through to when they start turning a profit. I think that's why you're seeing such a sharp market reaction - a few investors are probably asking if there's a need for them to raise more capital to get them through to breakeven somewhere on the horizon."
The local market has stabilised somewhat, Lister said, today outperforming Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index which was down 0.5 percent. and Japan's Nikkei 225 which had dropped 0.6 percent, at 5pm New Zealand time.
"It's been a while since we've been able to point to the New Zealand market and say we are holding up better than others but we've been hit harder generally over the past couple of months," Lister said. "I get the feeling the market has found a bit of a base, having suffered a reasonable selloff particularly through October. We're 8 or 9 percent below where we were in September, but we've got some stability down at these levels and we're seen a few bargain hunters picking up some stock in some good quality companies."
Metro Performance Glass was one of those companies, up 1.6 percent to $1.95 today, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 0.7 percent to $8.33.
"They're having a rebound today - obviously they had a very rough week last week, down about 10 percent for the week, it's up a couple of percent, and a little bit of a rebound for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare as well, which took a bit of a beating last week as well."
Sky Network Television was the best performer, up 3 percent to $4.74, while Contact Energy gained 2.6 percent to $4.72.
Vital Healthcare Property Trust dropped 2.4 percent to $2 and Goodman Property Trust shed 2.4 percent to $1.23.
Outside the benchmark index, Smartpay Holdings gained 9.4 percent to 17.5 cents. The listed payment terminal supplier has warned it is experiencing a decline in both existing and anticipated growth in the Australian taxi market due to the continual disruption of the industry.
OceanaGold Corp rose 3.3 percent to $4.07. The owner of New Zealand's biggest gold mine at Macraes is to delist from the NZX at the end of the year to reduce compliance costs, leaving its shares to trade on the ASX and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Green Cross Health gained 1.2 percent to $2.58. The listed medical services provider saw its first-half operating profit stall despite a large one-off gain which boosted its statutory net profit 24 percent.