NZX takes a hit following A2 Milk result

The NZX-50 index fell more than 160 points off the back of A2 Milk's reported full year result. - Photo: Supplied / NZX

The local sharemarket has taken an unexpected beating this morning driven by investor disappointment about the performance of the top stock - A2 Milk.

The benchmark NZX 50 Index fell more than 160 points, about 1.5 percent in the first hour of trading. It has since pegged back some lost ground but was just under 1 percent down at midday.

The fall was primarily caused by a near 15 percent fall for infant formula maker A2 Milk, the market's most valuable stock.

The company reported record revenue and profits for the past year, but the result fell short of expectations.

Brokers told RNZ Business A2 Milk's figures fell short of inflated expectations for earnings, while a surge in marketing costs also added to the downbeat view.

"It's a classic buy the rumour, sell the fact," a broker said.

A2 Milk's shareprice has risen more than 50 percent over the past year.

Its managing director Jayne Hrdlicka said investors had little reason to be disappointed with the result.

"I don't think you can argue with the quality of the result, either with what we delivered in fiscal year 19 or the investments we're making... we don't focus day to day what happens on sharemarkets," she said.

Two other heavyweights reporting today - Fletcher Building and Spark - have gained strongly on solid results and positive outlooks.

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