MARKET WRAP: NZ shares rise: Serko up, Evolve down

Hamilton Hindin Greene investment adviser Tom McBride says Serko got a 'nice boost' today.
Hamilton Hindin Greene investment adviser Tom McBride says it was a reasonably flat day on the market.

New Zealand shares rose today as Serko and Evolve Education shares went in opposite directions in response to guidance updates.

The S&P NZX50 index fell 0.71 points to 8,922.09, on turnover of $127 million.

Earlier today, travel software maker Serko announced it has signed a Letter of Intent with Flight Centre Travel Group and raised its full-year 2019 revenue growth guidance range to 20-30% above FY18 (from 15-30%).

“That’s a nice little boost for Serko. It is still working through the arrangement and we would expect a further update at the annual general meeting on August 22,” Hamilton Hindin Greene investment adviser Tom McBride says.

Serko shares gained 3.64% to $2.85.

Evolve Education Group confirmed “credible” takeover interest today but also downgraded its trading performance on lower occupancy numbers.

It expects underlying earnings (operating ebitda) for full-year 2019 to be in the order of $3m-5 million down compared to last year’s $21.6m.

Evolve shares fell 12.5% to 56c.

Contact Energy shares gained 5c to $5.77. Today it announced it is selling its LPG gas business Rockgas to an associate of First Gas for $260 million.

That follows Contact’s announcement last December, that it was selling its Ahuroa gas storage facility for $200m to First Gas, a company controlled by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and which owns the former Natural Gas distribution network.

Yesterday New Zealand Oil & Gas released quarterly activities and cashflow reports for the three months to 31 March 2018. The company has reported a cash balance $98.6m steady revenue from production.

New Zealand Oil & Gas shares gained 1.74% to 58c.

Metro Performance Glass shares fell 2.3% to 85c. Its net profit in the year to March 31 fell 16% to $16.3 million, although sales – including the first 12 months of trading from acquisition Australian Glass Group – rose 10% to $268.3m.

Fonterra’s annual result and New Zealand’s labour data statistics will be out tomorrow.