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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall, Pushpay at 5 month low as Metlifecare, Spark drop

Wednesday 1st August 2018

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New Zealand shares fell as Pushpay Holdings hit a five-month low while Metlifecare and Spark New Zealand dropped.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 62.17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 8,859.92. Within the index, 31 stocks fell, 13 rose and six were unchanged. Turnover was $122.1 million. 

Pushpay Holdings led the index lower, down 7.5 percent to $3.84, the lowest it has closed since February. The mobile payments app developer delivered first-quarter revenue within guidance and has reshuffled its senior management after another abrupt executive exit. 

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 was US$21.4 million, within its guidance and up 52.6 percent on the year earlier. Guidance for the current quarter is revenue between US$21.8 million and US$23.3 million. Pushpay also announced that James Maiocco, its chief business development officer who took on the role in September 2016, has resigned effective today and will not be replaced.

"Clearly the market - as it is wont to do with these very high multiple names - had expectations a bit above that and it may have disappointed investors, hence the decline," said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management. "When you're trading at a very significant multiple of sales, you do need to keep surpassing expectations - it's very easy for them to get ahead of company guidance. Pushpay has had a tremendous run-up so perhaps this is a little bit of a reality check."

Metlifecare dropped 2.4 percent to $6.02, Spark New Zealand fell 1.8 percent to $3.80, and Infratil declined 1.7 percent to $3.40.

Comvita was the best performer, up 1.2 percent to $5.75. Gentrack Group gained 1.2 percent to $6.85 and Ryman Healthcare rose 0.8 percent to $12.27.

Investore Property gained 0.7 percent to $1.53. The large-format retail property investor will buy back up to 5 percent of its shares on issue, or about $20 million of stock, though cornerstone shareholder and external manager Stride Property won't be taking part. Stride was down 0.5 percent to $1.84.

Heartland Bank was unchanged at $1.71. It is planning a corporate restructure and a listing on the Australian securities exchange which it says will help it grow.

The Auckland-based bank's Australian business includes part of its reverse mortgage business, something that has grown steadily since it bought Australian Seniors Finance in 2014. Heartland's reverse mortgage loan book has grown to more than $1 billion, of which more than half is in Australia. 

"A number of NZ companies are listed on the ASX, and Heartland does have a decent-sized business in Australia so it's not as if they are moving to Australia by any means," Goodson said. "I believe the restructure is more about the percentage of business they're able to conduct in Australia given banking regulations in New Zealand, it may improve their future flexibility as opposed to anything that will have an impact any time soon."

(BusinessDesk)

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