New Zealand shares fell, led lower by Gentrack, after the utilities software developer downgraded its earnings and gave a flat outlook for 2020.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index decreased 11.86 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 10,946.30. Within the index, 16 stocks fell, 20 rose, and 14 were unchanged. Turnover was $138.7 million.

Gentrack dropped 12.6 per cent to $4.50, the lowest close in more than two years, after it said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were below its previous guidance range of $25-26m in the year ended September 30. The company said the outlook for 2020 was also flat. Some 76,000 shares were traded, less than its 90-day average of 103,000.

"That would be the third downgrade for them," said Peter McIntyre, an investment adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "It's a growth stock and the market doesn't like those words when they come from a growth company."


Synlait Milk fell 3.8 per cent to $9.14. The dairy processor said it planned to raise up to $200m in a five-year bond issue, which it would use to repay bank debt.

The five-year swap rate closed at 1.21 per cent, and McIntyre said Synlait could potentially sell the bonds with a coupon in the mid-3 percent range.

Refining New Zealand fell 2 per cent to $1.97 after the Marsden Point refinery operator reported a smaller than usual uplift over Singapore rates in its gross refining margin in September and October. Shareholder and transport fuels retailer Z Energy fell 2.6 per cent to $4.90.

McIntyre said the week had been busy with company earnings, annual meetings and potential merger and acquisition activity.

Metlifecare was unchanged at $5.80, having gained 11.1 per cent after the board said it had received a sub-par indicative offer from a credible buyer, and was engaging with the party.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is due to report first-half earnings next week, and McIntyre said that would be keenly watched given the breathing mask maker was typically conservative in offering guidance. F&P Healthcare declined 1.3 per cent to $20.47 today.

A2 Milk posted the biggest gain on the day, up 1.6 per cent at $14.94 on a volume of 939,000 shares, more than its 779,000 average. That took its weekly gain to 17 per cent. The milk marketing firm upgraded its earnings and margin outlook this week.

Sky Network Television rose from an all-time low, up 1.3 per cent at 80 cents.


Kathmandu Holdings increased 0.3 per cent to $2.95 after it told shareholders at today's annual meeting that it was trading in line with expectations.

Spark New Zealand was the most traded stock on a volume of 4.3 million shares. It increased 0.1 per cent to $4.475. Mercury NZ fell 0.9 per cent to $4.66 on a volume of 3.2 million shares and Meridian Energy was down 0.1 per cent at $4.315 with 2.9 million shares changing hands.

Of other stocks trading on volumes of more than a million shares, Contact Energy was unchanged at $6.85, Fletcher Building rose 1 per cent to $5.28, SkyCity Entertainment Group increased 0.3 per cent to $3.89, Infratil advanced 0.6 per cent to $4.82 and Kiwi Property Group was up 1 per cent at $1.56.

Outside the benchmark index, Eroad decreased 0.6 per cent to $3.17 after the telematics firm narrowed its first-half loss on rising revenue. It ticked off a significant milestone in the period by selling 100,000 contracted units and said at its current growth rate, it would reach 250,000 units in five years.

Metro Performance Glass rose 2.9 per cent to 35.5 cents after Graham Stuart was appointed a director. The glass products manufacturer is scheduled to report first-half earnings on Monday.

Pacific Edge dropped 13.9 per cent to 14.2 cents after the shares resumed trading. It raised $7m in a placement at 15 cents apiece, and will raise a further $13m in a rights issue at 10 cents apiece.