The latest corporate results were overall reasonably solid, but the New Zealand sharemarket slipped further as the heavyweight stocks again dominated proceedings and the direction.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 89.12 points or 0.76 per cent to 11,662.16 after touching 11,777.37 during the day's trading. Volume reached 59.91 million worth $195.75 million, and there were 53 gainers and 88 decliners over the whole market.
The bulk of the trading was directed at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, a2 Milk and Spark – combined they made up nearly a half of the volume with more than $81m worth of their shares changing hands.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 94c to $34.76 – it has declined $1.74 over two days – a2 Milk fell 43c to $19.92 (down $1.58 for two days), and Spark declined 2.5c to $4.95m on trade worth $27m. Mainfreight decreased 52c to $45.03.
Rickey Ward, head of investment strategy group at JBWere, said "a bit of rotation is going on with a bit of selling in the stars of the year, such as Fisher and Paykel and a2. Both companies are up 30 per cent this year while the rest of the market isn't.
"Investors are taking profits of the good growth stocks and then looking to go into value stocks that haven't delivered yet," he said. "People are still hunting yield and some of the outlook comments (in the results) are not providing a great degree of confidence."
Medical consumable company Ebos, which rose 20c to $22.10 on trade worth $8.9m, is one company that provided confidence. Christchurch-based Ebos produced a record result, with revenue growing 26.5 per cent to A$8.76 billion ($9.59b) and net profit rising 18 per cent to $162.5m for the year ending June.
Ebos is paying a final dividend of 40c a share on October 9, taking the full-year dividend to 77.5c a share, up 8.4 per cent.
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Energy company Genesis met analysts' expectations with full-year revenue at $2.59b and net profit of $46m, down 22 per cent, despite the dry North Island conditions. Genesis is paying an increased final dividend of 8.675c a share on September 25, and its share price moved ahead 5c or 1.77 per cent to $2.87.
Auckland International Airport climbed 6c to $6.45 after reporting a 63 per cent plunge in net profit to $194m from $523.5m for the year ending June – as total passengers through the terminal declined 26.5 per cent to 15.52m. The airport is not paying a dividend, after making a total pay-out of 22.25c a share last year.
Ward said the Auckland Airport share price rise was hard to justify. "Maybe there is a bit of relief there as the stock had been under pressure, but they slightly missed the mark with their result and the runway to normalisation is further out than people thought."
SkyCity Entertainment revised its earnings guidance for the year ending June, and its share price went up 6c or 2.45 per cent to $2.51. Reported earnings (ebitda) are now estimated at between $346m and $349m, rather than the previous estimate of $440-$480m.
Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson had another good day after its positive result, rising 33c or 7.95c to $4.48 – a gain of $1.05 or nearly 30 per cent in two days. Medicinal cannabis company Cannasouth continues to charge along, rising 8c or 11.27 per cent to 79c.
Gold is on a roller-coaster ride. Over the past two days it has fallen from more than US$2010 ($3065) an ounce to under $1930 and at 5.30pm had recovered to $1942.15, up 5.71 per cent during the day.