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MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks fall as Xero’s growth falters

MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks fall as Xero’s growth falters

By Suze Metherell

April 2 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares fell for a third day, paced by Xero as investors turned away from the high growth stock after an analyst revised their forecasted subscription rate for the company. Outside the benchmark index Synlait Milk fell on weaker global dairy prices.

The NZX50 Index fell 6.211, or 0.1 percent, to 5116.308. Within the index there was an even split as 20 stocks fell, 20 rose and 10 were unchanged. Turnover was $162.2 million.

Xero fell 2.9 percent to $38 and has an average recommendation of ‘sell’ according to 3 analysts surveyed by Reuters. The cloud-based accounting software is the second largest listed company in the stock market, and has climbed 236 percent in the past year, however, in the last month the stock has declined 8.4 percent, underperforming the NZX50’s 2 percent gain.

“It is very early days in Xero’s ramp up, so you’re trying to read signals today for what may be much bigger numbers in the future, but it just looks as though they’re going to be a little shy of what some of the more bullish people had hoped for,” said Matthew Goodson who helps manage $650 million in equities at Salt Fund Management. “Xero certainly went vertical last year, as did many similar stocks in America and they have given up ground in recent days, as has Xero.”

“There’s been a slight shift away from the higher growth end in the market if you like,” particularly from bio-tech and internet companies, said Goodson.

Trade Me Group, the online auction website, fell 0.2 percent to $4.08. Pacific Edge, makers of the non-invasive bladder cancer detection test, rose 2.4 percent to $1.30, paring its decline of 19 percent in the past month.

Synalit Milk fell 1.1 percent to $3.67 after dairy product prices had the biggest drop in almost 20 months at Fonterra Cooperative Group's latest GlobalDairyTrade auction. . Units in the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund rose 0.8 percent to $6.15. The units give investors access to Fonterra Coop’s dividend stream.

“That’s a negative for Synlait because they won’t get the benefit of buying Fonterra’s price at 70 cents below the milk price,” Goodson said.

Steel & Tube Holdings was the worst performer on the bourse, down 3 percent to $2.96. Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s biggest listed company, fell 0.2 percent to $9.46.

MightyRiverPower fell 0.9 percent to 2.17. Meridian Energy declined 1.7 percent to $1.135. Auckland lines company Vector declined 0.8 percent to $2.45 and Contact Energy slipped 0.9 percent to $5.30.

OceanaGold climbed 7.2 percent to $2.54. Telecom rose 1 percent to $2.455 and Sky Network Television rose 0.8 percent to $6.30.

Outside the NZX 50, Postie Plus Group rose 4.6 percent to 11.5 cents. The retailer has missed the cut off for providing its first-half results to the stock market operator NZX and risks a trading suspension if it doesn’t meet an April 8 deadline.

Goodman Fielder declined 17 percent to 54 cents, after Australasia's biggest food company said annual earnings will miss expectations by as much as 15 percent, prompting it to speed up its cost cutting plan and reduce staff.

(BusinessDesk)

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