Market close: Investors punish Pushpay for earnings downgrade

Church donor software firm Pushpay Holdings provided a disappointing start to the latest reporting season, and along with Ryman Healthcare sent the New Zealand sharemarket down more than half a per cent.

United States-based Pushpay downgraded its full-year earnings guidance, and the S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 68.12 points or 0.52 per cent to 13,022.46.

There were 64 gainers and 68 decliners over the whole market, and trading was steady with 44 million shares worth $142 million changing hands.

Pushpay Holdings fell 24c or 12.97 per cent to $1.61 – its lowest level since mid-August – and leading retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare was down 32c or 2.18 per cent to $14.38 on no apparent news. Competitor Summerset Group Holdings declined 19c to $13.86.

Pushpay’s revenue grew 8 per cent to US$93.52m ($131.23m) for the six months ending September and its net profit increased 43 per cent to US$19.12m. Underlying operating earnings (ebitdafi) were US$29.6m.

Pushpay managed total processing volume of US$3.5 billion and it has 14,095 customers, up 29 per cent. It forecast operating earnings of US$60m-$65m for the 2022 financial year ending March, down from an earlier guidance of US$64m-$69m, because of increased costs and wages.

Greg Smith, head of retail with Devon Funds Management, said a downgrade was difficult for investors to swallow.

“Its first quarter was a bit patchy but the business improved past the half-year and it still has ambitious growth plans, such as gaining a quarter of the Catholic Church segment in the US within five years.

“But as we have seen in the US and Australia earnings season, any company that is priced for growth and has a disappointing result gets punished by investors,” Smith said.

On Wall Street, PayPal fell 10.46 per cent to US$205.42 – its biggest fall since March last year – after producing a lower-than-expected revenue forecast.

Overnight, the Bitcoin price reached an all-time high of US$68,525 ($96,382), beating the previous record of US$66,974. Bond yields backed off, with the US 10 Year Treasury yield down 3 basis points to 1.46 per cent.

At home, energy stocks were weaker with Contact down 11c to $7.91; Meridian declining 5.5c to $4.865; and Mercury decreasing 7c to $5.99.

Fisher and Paykel Healthcare was down 49c to $31.80; Ebos Group fell 45c to $36; a2 Milk declined 12c or 1.83 per cent to $6.43; Comvita shed 6c to $3.60; and Restaurant Brands decreased 17c to $15.13.

AFT Pharmaceuticals was down 13c or 2.67 per cent to $4.74; Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund declined 6c to $3.89; DGL Group fell 10c or 3.45 per cent to $2.80; Gentrack shed 5c or 2.66 per cent to $1.83; Pacific Edge decreased 4c or 2.78 per cent to $1.4; and Harmoney was down 7c or 3.63 per cent to $1.86.

Port of Tauranga and Napier Port both had rebounds, rising 11c to $7 and 2c to $3 respectively. Move Logistics increased 10c or 6.25 per cent to $1.70.

Mainfreight was up 99c to $90.99; Goodman Property Trust increased 5c or 2.08 per cent to $2.45; and Vulcan Steel picked up another 6c to $8.02 after listing last week at $7.50.

Auckland International Airport, up 8c to $8.25, is making a $150m five-year bond offer with an interest rate of 2.39 per cent.

Sky Network Television increased 3c to $1.83; Michael Hill International was up 4c or 3.45 per cent to $1.20; Greenfern Industries gained 1.5c or 5.45 per cent to 29c; and Wellington Drive Technologies collected 0.007c or 4.4 per cent to 16.6c.

The leading banks had a better day. Westpac Banking Corporation was up 20c to $23.62, and ANZ Banking Group increased 18c to $29.10.

Arvida Group has completed the $175m renounceable rights issue at $1.85 a share. Its share price was unchanged at $2.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust’s unit purchase plan closed oversubscribed and attracted $27.8m. Combined with the earlier $115m placement, Vital has raised $142.8m in new capital. It share price slipped 0.005c to $2.955.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand applauded the Court of Appeal decision that the controversial Auckland accommodation provider targeted rate was invalid. The court, which overturned the High Court judgment, found that the fundamental issue was the lack of direct benefits coming back to the accommodation providers paying the rate. Millennium’s share price gained 1c to $2.37.

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