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Sky's falling numbers bad news for NXZ50

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/05/2016 Sophie Boot

Sky's falling numbers bad news for NXZ50 © Twitter / NZX Limited Sky's falling numbers bad news for NXZ50 New Zealand shares fell on renewed concerns that Sky Network Television will struggle to maintain subscriber numbers in the face of new internet-based rivals, while Xero gained after the cloud-based accounting software firm said its cash burn is slowing and it expects to get to breakeven without seeking more capital.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dipped 6.6 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6,916.57. Within the index, 29 stocks dropped, 14 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $146.8 million.

Sky TV fell 3.4 per cent to $3.98 to make it the biggest decliner on the index.

The stock dropped 26 per cent over four sessions since last Friday after saying subscriber numbers were expected to fall further this financial year, causing earnings next year to miss analyst estimates.

Westpac fell 1.9 per cent to $31.75, Heartland Bank shed 1.7 per cent to $1.17 and A2 Milk Co dropped 1.7 per cent to $1.79.

Warehouse Group declined 1.5 per cent to $2.70. The country's largest listed retailer lifted third-quarter sales 5.5 per cent to $672.2 million and said it's on track to meet its forecast annual profit.

Xero was the biggest gainer, rising 7.3 per cent to $16.55, although it traded as high as $17 during the day. The cloud-based accounting software firm may reach positive operating earnings in 2018 and achieve bottom-line profit the following year, according to brokerage First NZ Capital following the release of its full-year results.

Xero posted a 67 per cent gain in revenue to $207m while its net loss widened to $82.5m.

New Zealand Refining Co rose 3.8 per cent to $2.75, Orion Health Group gained 3.3 per cent to $4.75, and Meridian Energy advanced 2.6 per cent to $2.73.

Outside the main index, APN News and Media, which is listed on Australia's ASX and the NZX, said it has raised $A160m ($NZ171.71m) from the institutional component of its entitlement offer, with an uptake of 95 per cent and the shortfall hoovered up at a premium. The Australian stock rose 12.4 per cent to 68 Australian cents after a trading halt was lifted, while the NZX-listed shares last changed hands at 70 cents.

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