New Zealand shares were mixed, with Sky Network Television continuing yesterday's rebound while Air New Zealand and Trade Me Group declined after giving up dividend rights.
The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 14.05 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,804.26. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 16 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $185.7 million.
Sky TV was the best performer, up 3 per cent to $2.79. The stock has dropped 43 per cent this year and is down 12 per cent since its earnings announcement in August, while reports last week that Amazon may bid on the sports rights it currently holds saw the shares fall to 18-year lows before it began to bounce back yesterday.
"That stock looks incredibly cheap. While they are losing subscriber numbers, facing all sorts of competitive threats, they still have the key thing which all media formats require and that's the content," said Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "It was really interesting to see Facebook get into that IPL rights auction, Amazon's got some limited NFL rights, it's not just the traditional players there. Sky TV could be being lined up as a potential takeover target, it's cheap. As long as they keep producing the content, you could leave it to the experts to disseminate their content in a more modern manner."
Easton said in equity markets generally "there's a lot of uncertainty at play, we were pleased to see a positive night off shore but the US didn't recover from the relatively large sell off on Tuesday. I'm fielding a lot of questions about what I think the election will do, that's obviously playing on people's minds with the outcome still not very clear."
Air New Zealand fell 2.5 per cent or 9 cents to $3.51 after giving up rights to an 11 cent dividend, while Summerset Group Holdings fell 2 per cent to $5.01.
Trade Me fell 2 per cent, or 9 cents, to $4.51. It gave up rights to a 10 cents per share final dividend today, but has been weaker over the past six weeks, and has declined about 19 percent since July 25, a day after reports emerged that Amazon had settled on Melbourne as its base for an Australian launch later this year.
"The Amazon paranoia has possibly been overplayed - a couple of research analysts came out with notes talking about the Amazon threat to Trade Me, that had an immediate impact and it has stuck around those levels ever since," Easton said. "Trade Me was the disruptor 15 years ago, but they are now more at risk of being disrupted."
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare gained 2.1 per cent to $12.50, Comvita rose 1.4 per cent to $7.46 and Fletcher Building gained 1.4 per cent to $8.23.
Outside the benchmark index, Tegel Group was unchanged at $1.23. At its annual general meeting today, New Zealand's biggest poultry producer reiterated that it expects this year's underlying earnings to be ahead of last year's as it benefits from population growth and protein competition that still favours poultry.
Tegel currently has a 52 per cent domestic market share and it expects to retain that position in the current financial year. It says chicken is a much "more affordable option for consumers" than beef and lamb and now commands 53 per cent of 'share of plate', double what it was 16 years ago.
The liquidators of Wynyard (NZ), the local unit of the failed crime investigation software developer which was delisted in May, are still considering a $171m creditor claim from the parent company while pursuing $5.9m from two other subsidiaries of the group.
Wynyard listed on the NZX in 2013, with investors paying $1.15 a share. The stock closed as high as $3.12 in March 2014 but shares were worth just 21.5 cents when the company eventually went under.