Skellerup up 4.4 per cent after beating earnings guidance while NZX, Trade Me and Telecom all close lower Skellerup Holdings shares rose 4.4 per cent yesterday to $1.41

NEW ZEALAND shares fell yesterday, giving up much of the previous day's gains, with trading dominated by earnings season. Port of Tauranga slipped after posting a record profit that met estimates, stock market operator NZX dropped and Telecom declined ahead of its results today.

The NZX 50 fell 21.65 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4529.86. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 19 gained and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $141 million.

Port of Tauranga, the nation's busiest export port, fell 2.4 per cent to $14.35. Net profit of $112.1 million in the year ended June 30 was up 52 per cent on the previous year and was close to First NZ Capital's expectation of $112.9 million. The company will not provide guidance until its annual meeting on October 24.

NZX fell about 3 per cent to $1.31. The market operator doubled first-half profit as it benefited from new listings, a surge in trading activity and fees for running market operations, making up for a drought-affected NZX Agri division.


Trade Me, the auction website, fell 1.8 per cent to $4.40 after Australia's Woolworths agreed to buy online retailer EziBuy for $350 million, potentially adding to competition for consumer dollars.

"That could be sending negative sentiment into the wider retail sector," said Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. Woolworths "will want EziBuy to work a bit harder".

Telecom shares dropped 2.8 per cent to $2.25 after a network outage cut customers' mobile data services.

Vector gained 0.4 per cent to $2.65 after reporting a 2.3 per cent lift in annual profit to $203.3 million, propped up by improving revenue in its unregulated smart meters and telecommunication network operations.

The biggest gainer was Skellerup Holdings, which climbed 4.4 per cent to $1.41 after the rubber goods maker beat earnings guidance with annual profit of $19 million.

Units in Vital Healthcare fell 0.6 per cent to $1.40 after the health-related property investor reported a 21 per cent gain in distributable earnings to $28.2 million on a bigger portfolio.

Rakon was unchanged at 23c after the navigation components maker released its notice of a special meeting for shareholders to approve the sell-down of its stake in a Chinese factory to about 5.4 per cent.

Shares in South Port were unchanged at $3.25 after the Bluff port operator reported a record profit of $6.5 million.

Moa Group sank 7.7 per cent to 72c after executives were quizzed over plans to improve distribution.