Orion Health Group share price rise on debut surprises

Shares of Orion Health Group rose 14% on listing yesterday, surprising brokers as investors topped up their accounts, after being scaled back when shares were issued.

The healthcare management software developer was predicted to list strongly and the first trade at $6.50, up 80c a share, was impressive, Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms said.

Trading lost some vigour by mid-afternoon when orders were filled but, at end of trading, closed at $6.27, up 10%.

The next thing for investors to watch for was whether Orion could meet its forecasts, Mr Timms said.

The initial public offer raised $120 million in new capital to fund new research.

There was no public pool for the offer when 21.1 million new shares were issued.

Chief executive and founder Ian McCrae sold a further $5 million, or 880,000 shares, into the float.

Existing shareholders hung on to about 86% of Orion, with Mr McCrae keeping a 50% stake.

Orion would use the new funds to double the existing 40 research and development teams to accelerate its present software solutions and to undertake blue sky research on its big data analytics and predictive modelling software.

The money would also go to improve implementation and delivery capability and provide additional financial liquidity.

''Orion Health is already at the forefront with solutions that are delivering benefits to our 450 customers across 25 countries,'' Mr McCrae said in a statement.

''We are now funded to significantly increase our research and development efforts to expand our capability and solutions for customers and I am very excited that many of these great new roles will be in the New Zealand IT sector.''

Orion did not provide an earnings forecast in its prospectus because of the ''lumpy'' nature of the group's revenues for fear of misleading investors.

It reported a loss of $14.8 million in the six months ended September 30, 2014, on sales of $80.5 million.

Telstra Health, a unit of Australia's largest telecommunications business Telstra Corp, spent $20 million for a 2% stake in the book build.

Telstra Health was among 20 institutional investors which bought into the company during its initial public offer.

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