New Zealand shares fell as investor confidence was dented by profit warnings from Sky Network Television and Steel & Tube Holdings.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 21.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 10,873.16. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 21 rose, and six were unchanged. Turnover was $90.1 million.

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Sky TV led the market lower, sliding 6.3 percent to 89 cents on a volume of 782,000 shares, less than its 90-day average of one million. The pay-TV operator forecast earnings and revenue to fall in the 2020 financial year due to accounting rule changes and its investment in streaming and sports content. It will hold a strategy day in February.


Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners, said analysts had predicted operating earnings of about $210 million and the downgrade to a range of $170-190 million disappointed investors.

"The market's just not going to wait until February to see a strategy report," he said.

While not in the benchmark index anymore, Steel & Tube also weighed on investor sentiment after it lowered its earnings guidance due to competitive pressures and a tough winter. The shares dropped 9.2 percent to 79 cents, the lowest since the early 1990s.

McIntyre said Steel & Tube was one of several listed construction and infrastructure companies that hadn't been able to benefit from the nation's building boom.

Kiwi Property Group fell 1.3 percent to $1.56 with 2.3 million shares changing hands, the most heavily traded stock on the day. The property investor reported a 24 percent fall in first-half profit, due largely to an unrealised decline in the value of its hedging instruments. Underlying earnings were slightly weaker.

Air New Zealand fell 1.1 percent to $2.765 on a volume of 1 million shares after the national carrier cancelled dozens of flights due to required maintenance work on some Dreamliner engines. About 14,000 customers will be affected.

Spark New Zealand rose 1.4 percent to $4.51 with 1.8 million shares traded after it said it would use more than one supplier for its 5G mobile network, getting around the security block on Spark's preferred partner, Huawei Technologies. Huawei remains on the short-list, but would need a new application to be a part of the build.

Chorus was down 0.4 percent at $5.19 with just 78,000 shares changing hands, well down on its 496,000 average. The network operator won a court case where it was accused of breaching a non-disclosure agreement. Tomorrow, the Commerce Commission will release its draft methodology for regulated fibre prices.


Of other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Meridian Energy was unchanged at $4.53, Fletcher Building increased 0.2 percent to $5.31, and Contact Energy fell 1.5 percent to $6.80.

Investore Property posted the day's biggest gain. It rose 3.2 percent to $1.81 on a volume of 89,000 shares, almost half its 156,000 average. Last week it reported a 10 percent increase in first-half profit, due to fair value gains.

Outside the benchmark index, AFT Pharmaceuticals rose 3.1 percent to $3 after signing licensing agreements for its Maxigesic painkiller to be sold in Germany, Pakistan and Vietnam. It reports first-half earnings on Thursday.

Serko, which reports on Wednesday, was unchanged at $4.60. Its $5 million share purchase plan was oversubscribed by $13 million, and applications would be scaled.