4 Aug 2014

Gentrack shares rebound after fall

1:43 pm on 4 August 2014

Gentrack's shares rebounded on Monday morning after falling sharply on Friday on news the company will miss its profit and revenue targets.

The shares rose as high has $2.30 after falling more than 13 percent to $2.24 on Friday.

The utility and airport software developer began trading on the NZX nearly six weeks ago, after raising $99 million.

With a strong board and management team in place, it launched at an 8 cent premium to its issue price of $2.50.

The company had been expecting revenue as high as $38.5m but now says revenue could be as little as $36.6m.

Its net profit for the year may fall short by 32 percent -- in the range of $2.5m to $2.8m.

As a result, the share price fell more than 13 percent, or 34 cents, to $2.24 on Friday.

The company said in a statement the shortfall was due to a dispute with one its customers over the payment of services, and a delay in signing a contract.

But it did not return Radio New Zealand's calls to explain what the customer dispute was about, or why the other customer had delayed signing its contract.

Chief executive James Docking held a private briefing with analysts, and Milford Asset Management senior analyst Brooke Bone said the company's financial outlook for 2015 was more positive.

"I was reasonably positive about that, because they're still confident that they will hit those numbers and ... they actually have a reasonably positive outcome in terms of the delays that they're talking about, then you could actually see FY15 revenues being a touch higher than what they're actually forecasting."

The market reaction to the news was "entirely consistent which what you'd expect", Mr Bone said.

"They came to the market. They were a very well-regarded board and management team, the stock priced at the upper end of the range and they've disappointed the market."

Less confident

Salt Funds Management managing director Paul Harrison was less confident the company could improve on its 2015 forecast.

"There have been some thoughts expressed to the company around 'if this is just a delay in revenue, why doesn't 15 get upgraded.

"I think from the company's point of view, they have said that they have a certain amount of capacity to bring on these contracts so obviously if you delay something, it's not like you can add a bunch of extra work into 15 to give you more profit for 15, because you've only got so much capacity."

Mr Harrison said that with more than 2.1 million shares traded on Friday, some investors believed there was too much risk.

"I think what's most concerning about this is the timeframe between the prospectus and the short period of time where they have come out with this downgrade," he said.

"This is obviously the nature of a business that relies on contracts to grow and perhaps some investors didn't realise that when they bit into the book build."