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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as Pushpay revenue slips

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as Pushpay revenue slips; a2, FPH, Fletcher dip

By Paul McBeth

April 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares fell, led by Pushpay Holdings after the mobile app payments developer posted its first dip in quarterly revenue, while blue-chip stocks a2 Milk Co, Fletcher Building and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare declined. Infratil gained on upbeat earnings guidance.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 16.05 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,453.72. Within the index, 17 stocks fell, 27 gained, and six were unchanged. Turnover was $125 million.

Pushpay led the index lower, falling 3 percent to $4.14 after the software developer said annualised committed monthly revenue fell 19 percent to US$86.4 million in the March quarter, coming off a high during the Christmas giving period and as it gave up pursuing smaller churches. Revenue doubled to US$70 million in the year ended March 31, it said.

"There was a bit of a reversal as the went on," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch. "When analysts started to drill down, it wasn't quite as good as investors' initially thought."

The benchmark index was pushed lower by large-cap stocks, with a2 Milk down 1.3 percent to $12.88, Fletcher Building falling 1.8 percent to $5.90 and F&P Healthcare declining 2 percent to $13.10.

Sky Network Television fell 2.9 percent to $2.37 and Trade Group declined 2.5 percent to $4.33.

Kiwi Property Group fell 1.5 percent to $1.33 after the real estate investor said it's sold its North City Shopping Centre in Porirua for $100 million to a private investor.

Synlait Milk rose 2.3 percent to $8.95, the biggest gain on the day after a Commerce Commission report questioned one of the components used to set Fonterra Cooperative Group's farmgate milk price, saying the level may be inflating what the larger milk processor pays its suppliers. Fonterra Shareholders' Fund units gained 0.4 percent to $5.75.

Infratil gained 2.2 percent to $3.19. The Wellington-based infrastructure investor said 2018 earnings were at the top end of guidance at today's investor day briefing, and that it's considering paying special dividends when it realises gains from its development investments to supplement ordinary returns. Infratil-controlled Trustpower rose 2.1 percent to $5.74 and Tilt Renewables advanced 1.1 percent to $1.89.

Williamson said Infratil's guidance was "pretty positive" and noted the prospect of special dividend payments.

Utility stocks largely weathered outages across the country's biggest city. Auckland International Airport rose 0.2 percent to $6.415, lines company Vector increased 0.9 percent to $3.25, while Chorus slipped 0.1 percent to $4.035 and Spark New Zealand was unchanged at $3.385.

NZX increased 0.9 percent to $1.09 after the stock market operator released its second consultation document on plans to simplify the listing rules. CDL Investments, a potential beneficiary if a lower free float is adopted, was unchanged at 94 cents while controlling shareholder Millennium & Copthorne Hotels NZ was also unchanged at $2.86.


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