Things were looking up for Intueri Education Group shareholders at the start of this month.
On November 6 this column noted a 40 per cent gain in the stock since October 22, to $1.51, partly propelled the private training provider into reiterating, at an investor open day, that it was on track meet full-year earnings guidance.
But things went abruptly south on Monday when Intueri revealed that regulatory review of two of its schools could impact funding and wipe up to $5 million off full-year earnings.
By market open yesterday its shares had slumped by 48 per cent, to 68c, wiping $62 million off the company's market capitalisation in three trading days.
The company, which listed at $2.35 in May 2014, was a strong sharemarket performer in the first few months after its float, but has since become a major disappointment.
Its shares reached a record close of $3.30 in September 2014 before coming rapidly off the boil as the company missed prospectus forecasts and cut earnings guidance following weak sales and cost pressures.
Not helping matters has been the fact that the vocational training sector has fallen out of favour with Australasian investors following the debacle around ASX-listed Vocation.
The Sydney-based company, which floated in 2013, had its shares decimated after A$20 million worth of funding was withdrawn by the Victorian state government due to quality concerns around courses it provided at schools that have since shut down.
Its shares last traded at A12c before the company suspended them from trading on November 11 - a big drop on the A$3.35 record close they reached in September 2014.
Vocation's board placed the firm into administration yesterday after being unable to raise funds to keep the business going.
These issues highlight how exposed private training providers are to the whims of education regulators.
In a commentary last month, Auckland's Pie Funds expressed some optimism about Intueri's outlook following the firm's October 22 investor day.
However, portfolio manager Mark Devcich said on Wednesday that the fund manager was now evaluating its Intueri holding given the uncertainty around the stock.
The largely silent shareholders at Tourism Holdings' annual gathering had chairman Rob Campbell wondering whether he was in charge of a North Korean meeting.
It seems shareholders were so elated by the company's performance and outlook that they turned down five chances to ask questions.
"It's beginning to sound what a meeting of the North Korean government would," Campbell said.
Three years ago the share price was close to 50c but is now trading at well above $2, helped also by tailwinds from tourism growth here and overseas.
Veritas Investments, owner of the Mad Butcher chain, has raised the possibility of divestments in a recruitment advertisement.
He's only a few months into the job but Deutsche Bank co-chief executive John Cryan is shaking things up.
The Briton - who last month announced a global overhaul that will see the German bank exit 10 countries, including New Zealand, and shed tens of thousands of staff - told a conference in Frankfurt that bankers' salaries remained too high and they shouldn't be paid like entrepreneurs.
"Many people in the sector still believe they should be paid entrepreneurial wages for turning up to work with a regular salary, a pension and probably a health-care scheme and playing with other people's money," Bloomberg reported him as saying.
"There doesn't seem to be anything entrepreneurial about that except the compensation."
Veritas searching for CEO
Veritas Investments - whose businesses include Nosh Food Market and the Better Bar Company - announced last month that it was commencing a search for a CEO following a structural review by the board.
The company has hired Cook Executive Recruitment - run by Veritas chairman Tim Cook - to find itself a boss and the job listing says the firm is looking for someone with an "impacting personal presence".
A major focus of the chief executive would be analysing performance and opportunities for acquisitions or possibly divestments, it added.
Veritas has been under fire from shareholders for its languishing stock price, including at its annual meeting last week, when the company again lashed out at the media about reports on the performance of its Mad Butcher chain. Veritas shares, which have shed 60 per cent in the past year, opened at 47c yesterday.