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A2, Genesis join Chorus of fallen shares

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/08/2016 By Jonathan Underhill

New Zealand shares fell after Chorus said profit growth stalled and chief executive Mark Ratcliffe will step down next year. A2 Milk and Genesis Energy also declined while Auckland International Airport and Air New Zealand gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 24.04 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7367.26. Within the index 27 stocks fell, 15 rose and nine were unchanged. Turnover was light at $84 million.

Chorus dropped 1.7 per cent to $4.55 after its full-year results, having risen to a record high $4.65 last week.

Some of the stock's decline "might be to do with the CEO stepping down because they were relatively positive on growth going forward," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hinden Greene. "There was maybe a bit of profit-taking after the result."

Spark fell 2.2 per cent to $3.84.

A2 Milk fell 3.4 per cent to $1.98, leading the index lower. Kathmandu declined 2.5 per cent to $1.96 and Skellerup Holdings fell 2.1 per cent to $1.43.

Genesis Energy fell 2 per cent to $2.175 and Sky TV fell 1.9 per cent to $4.73.

The NZX 50 has fallen 1.5 per cent from its record high of Aug. 23 and Williamson said a correction isn't surprising in the wake of earnings season.

"The reporting season has certainly been acceptable but expectations were extremely high," he said. The sell-off isn't likely to herald a major correction "because you keep coming back to the interest rate environment" where low interest rates make the stock market a stand out in terms of yield.

Auckland Airport rose 1.4 per cent to $7.30 after posting a 17 per cent gain in net profit as the nation's busiest gateway benefitted from a boom in tourism and inbound migration that's driving passenger growth.

Air New Zealand rose 2.5 per cent to $2.275 as investors were lured to the airline's special dividend of 25 cents on top of an ordinary final dividend of 10 cents announced on Friday.

Among smaller companies, Intueri Education Group ended the day unchanged at 30 cents after posting a 43 per cent decline in first-half profit.

Wellington Drive Technologies jumped 9.1 per cent to 12 cents, Airwork Holdings was unchanged at $4.50 and Veritas Investments, the NZX-listed hospitality company that owns the Mad Butcher franchise, Nosh food markets and the Better Bar Company, was unchanged at 47 cents after reporting an audited net loss of $4.59m in the year to the end of June 2016, compared to a profit of $3.33m a year earlier.


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