Uncertain times for leading NZ tech equities

All eyes on Telecom as it reports this morning

New Zealand's few leading ICT stocks have had a rough ride over recent weeks as overseas markets tumbled and fears of international recession increase.

All eyes will be on the market's reaction to Telecom's half-year results, which will be reported this morning. Telecom's shares have dropped around 10% of their value since trading at highs in the $4.40s in December. They were trading at $4.07 yesterday.

Telstra ordinary shares have followed an almost identical pattern.

After pushing the $4.00 mark at the beginning of the year, shares in GPS crystal manufacturer Rakon had fallen to $3.35 yesterday.

Distributor Renaissance, after announcing it had lost its exclusive distribution of Apple products in New Zealand, has tumbled from over 70 cents a share in December to 59 cents yesterday.

Payments technology companies Cadmus and Provenco, which were cleared to merge by the Commerce Commission this week, have held up better. Provenco was trading at 50 cents yesterday, down only slightly from December after rallying at the end of January, while Cadmus was trading at 11 cents, down from around 13 cents in December.

Stocks in Xero rallied in early February after the company announced it had doubled the number of customers using its online accounting systems. Shares were at 74 cents yesterday.

Some smaller equities appear to have bucked the downward trend, most notably payments and networking company SmartPay, which has inked several deals of late, including buying wi-fi hotspot business Fivo and agreeing to manage Telecom's hotspot network.

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