MARKET WRAP: NZ shares rise, Orion up, ANZ down

New Zealand shares were in the red in the earlier part of today due to anxiety around the Italian election but managed to finish the day in the green.

The S&P NZX 50 index rose 12 points to 8647, on turnover of $189 million.

Fat Prophets head of research Greg Smith says the market hasn’t taken too kindly to company results that are in line with expectations lately, with A2 and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares dropping despite increased profits.

That trend continued today as software solution provider Gentrack shares fell 6.71% to $6.95 despite reporting a net profit after tax of $8.4m. Mr Smith says the company is performing very well overseas.

“Then again the shares have had a good run this year and perhaps the market was looking for more,” Mr Smith says.

Stride Property & Investment Management also reported solid results today. Profit after income tax was $95.3m, outperforming guidance of $35.7m. This time the market did respond as expected.

Stride shares gained 0.56% to $1.78.

“Investors are appreciating the transition into property management,” Mr Smith says.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) shares fell 2.52% to $29.45 after the bank announced the sale of life insurance business OnePath Life NZ to Cigna Corporation for $700m.

Mr Smith says ANZ is continuing the “optimisation of its operations” and will make about $50m from the sale.

Spark shares gained 1.79% to $3.70 after the company announced it will refund customers who have overpaid for services dating back about seven years.

Mr Smith labels the move a PR initiative, which investors seemed to like.

“It was a drop in the bucket dollar-wise,” he says.

Auckland International Airport shares also gained 1.53% to $6.65. Mr Smith says whether or not its facilities are first class, the airport is a “high-quality” stock.

Yesterday Orion Health reported a full-year loss of $40.4m, which was in line with analyst expectations. Last year, it lost $33m.

Later in the day, it said it is in talks with potential buyers but that wasn’t to lift shares, which shares fell 2.9% to 67c.

Today however, its shares had a turnaround, jumping 4.48% to 70c as investors digested the takeover rumour.

“It remains to be seen if there is some fire among the smoke,” Mr Smith says.

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