New Zealand shares fell, led lower by Air New Zealand, as the national carrier's earnings and softer outlook weighed on other tourism-related companies. Auckland International Airport and Tourism Holdings fell.
The S&P/NZX 50 index declined 80.86 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 8,925.52. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 17 gained, and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $193.4 million.
Air New Zealand hit a three-month low after warning its annual earnings will fall by as much as 37 per cent. The airline expects pre-tax earnings of $340-400m in the year ending June 30, downgrading its forecast due to global issues with Rolls Royce engines disrupting schedules. The stock ended the day down 13 per cent at $2.83 on a volume of 3.1 million, more than three times it 90-day average.
"One positive has been the dividend policy is unchanged at the moment - that's a positive for investors," said Peter McIntyre, an investment advisor at Craigs Investment Partners.
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The downgrade flowed through to other tourism-related stocks, including rental motor home operator Tourism Holdings and Auckland Airport, and might indicate signs of global economic growth slowing down, he said. Tourism Holdings dropped 6.1 per cent to $4.80 on a volume of 434,000 - more than twice the average. Auckland Airport fell 3.5 per cent to $7.27 on a volume of 1.8 million.
Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group decreased 0.3 per cent to $3.78. McIntyre said it held up reasonably well after raising its earnings guidance yesterday.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was the most traded stock on a volume of 4.7 million. Its three-month average volume is 613,000. The breathing mask maker fell 1.7 per cent to $12.48, extending its decline as an analyst downgrade of rival ResMed weighed on the stock. McIntyre said the strong currency added to the tone, given F&P Healthcare's reliance on exports.
Spark New Zealand fell 1.6 per cent to $3.99 on a volume of 3.7 million, slightly above its average. Infratil increased 0.8 per cent to $3.775 on a volume of 1.7 million, three times its average. Fletcher Building was unchanged at $4.98 on a volume of 1.6 million.
Of the other companies trading on volumes of more than one million shares, Meridian Energy rose 1.6 per cent to $3.57, Contact Energy increased 0.2 per cent to $6.02, Trade Me decreased 0.3 per cent to $6.34, Mercury NZ gained 0.7 per cent to $3.56, Chorus was up 1.2 per cent at $4.90, and Kiwi Property Group advanced 0.7 per cent to $1.415.
Z Energy fell 1.5 per cent to $5.97 and Heartland Group was down 1.4 per cent at $1.38 after announcing changes to their executive teams.
Outside the benchmark index, QEX Logistics rose 0.8 per cent to $1.20 after saying it expected increased revenue from a new distribution deal with Danone.