Orion rebounds after signing new UK deals
By Sophie Boot
New Zealand shares rose after Orion Health Group said it won new UK clients and SkyCity Entertainment Group rebounded following a conference call for analysts while A2 Milk Co dropped.
The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 0.9 points, or 0.01 percent, to 6726.02. Within the index, 24 stocks rose, 20 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $168 million.
Orion led the index, advancing 4.5 percent to $4.20, a nine-month high, after the health systems software developer signed up a pair of new clients in the UK. It's gained 20 percent in the last week, having announced three significant deals in the last fortnight.
"That announcement has certainly seen a very nice rebound in the share price," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Greene.
"It has been under pressure for quite some time, but they've made a few good announcements recently and it really does appear to have turned the trend on that stock quite nicely."
SkyCity grew 4 percent to $4.92. Last week it shed 7 percent over Thursday and Friday's trading sessions after the resignation of its chief executive Nigel Morrison.
Restaurant Brands New Zealand which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks franchises rose 3.1 percent to $5.05. The company will announce its earnings on Thursday.
Sky TV grew 2.2 percent to $4.66 and Xero added 2.1 percent to reach $16.70.
A2 Milk was the biggest decliner, dropping 6.3 percent to $1.78.
Spark shed 1.7 percent to $3.47, Mighty River Power lost 1.6 percent to $2.85, and Stride Property fell 1.5 percent to $2.26.
Outside the main index, Cavalier Corp declined 1.4 percent to 69 cents. It was asked by the NZX to explain a 27 percent jump in its share price in less than a week.
Cavalier has gained 14.8 percent this year, and posted an improved first-half profit in February while signalling its full-year earnings will probably be at the top end of expectations as it restructures its wool business and reduces debt.