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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares mixed; Z drops on downgrade as Air NZ bounces back

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

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New Zealand shares were mixed, with Z Energy dropping on an earnings downgrade while Air New Zealand bounced back from recent selling.

The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 27.73 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,307.63. Within the index, 22 stocks rose, 18 fell and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $99 million.

Z Energy fell 2.3 percent to $7.52. It cut annual guidance by about $20 million following a weaker-than-expected performance in the December quarter, due to a shutdown of the New Zealand Refining fuel pipeline to Auckland and the rising price of crude oil. 

The company said replacement cost operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value adjustments (ebitdaf) will be between $430 million and $455 million in the year to March 31, down from a previous range of $445 million-to-$475 million. 

"It probably didn't start the day off particularly well but it hasn't been too bad," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "Obviously the reasons for the downgrade are mostly outside of its control, and the supply disruption is seen as a one-off by most investors."

Spark New Zealand was the worst performer, down 2.5 percent to $3.53. Grant McBeath will take on the role of Spark's chief executive officer for its home, mobile and business division on an interim basis, replacing Jason Paris who is set to leave early this year.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp dropped 1.1 percent to $13.15. Williamson said the fall could be in reaction to ResMed, its Australian competitor, announcing its second-quarter sales revenue rose 13 percent to $US601.3 million due to demand for its sleep apnoea masks

"Investors might be thinking its strength is hurting F&P, but I doubt whether it will be affected by that - Resmed makes a lot of consumables whereas F&P focuses on the devices themselves," Williamson said. 

Air New Zealand was the best performer, rising 2.8 percent to $2.99.

"It has been weak, and a lot of that has been to do with the international price of oil rising," Williamson said. "The bargain hunters today might've thought it had dropped far enough."

Investore Property shares were unchanged at $1.46, while Stride Property Group's stock was unchanged at $1.78. Investore will pay just below book value to buy three Bunnings stores from manager Stride in a deal which will boost earnings and dividends, says the independent adviser's report on the transaction. 



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