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Stocks to watch: BGR, FPH, LME, PGC, RAK, TWR

Monday 12th September 2011

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading. All prices are in New Zealand dollars unless specified.

Themes of the day:

With little on the local data front ahead of the Reserve Bank's monetary policy statement on Thursday, the market looks set to again take its lead from offshore developments.

Global equities fell sharply on Friday amid reports that Germany was shoring up its banking system for a Greek default. On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 2.7% to 1,154.23 while Europe's Stoxx 600 closed 2.6% lower at 224.59.

Briscoe Group (BGR): The homeware and sporting goods retailer on Friday posted an 11% gain in first-half profit to $10.3 million, up from $9.28 million in the same period of 2010, excluding a year-earlier tax adjustment. Sales rose 2.1% to $194 million and climbed 4.4% on a same-store basis. BGR shares rose 2.2% on Friday to $1.39.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp. (FPA): The breathing mask and respirator manufacturer's shares rose 1.4% on Friday to $2.17 as the company appeared to have pushed back a strike by workers at its Highbrook plant in South Auckland. The company now has 14 days to resolve its dispute with unions over the renewal of the collective agreement covering production, maintenance and distribution workers.

L&M Energy Ltd. (LME): The coal seam gas project developer fell 4% on Friday to 11.9 cents after reporting a loss of $3 million in the six months to June 30. It said missing milestones was not unusual in the kind of projects it was involved in. The result compares with a net loss of $9.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Pyne Gould Corp. (PGC): The financial services company, which put off filing its financial statements because of the Christchurch earthquakes, said it faces an annual net loss of $141.1 million on restructuring that carved out its Marac finance unit. The loss is made up from a $114.2 million charge and a trading loss of $26.9 million. PGC shares fell 3.1% on Friday to 31 cents.

Rakon Ltd (RAK): The crystal timing component manufacturer told shareholders at its annual meeting it will continue to expand in Asia as a means to limit its exposure to the strength of the New Zealand dollar. The company recently warned that annual operating profit could fall as much as 44% for the year ending March 2012 if the New Zealand dollar remains at current levels. RAK shares rose 1.4% to 75 cents on Friday.

Tower Ltd. (TWR): The general insurer has declined to comment on the progress of switching to a new $40 million computer system, according to Fairfax Media. The twice delayed project, InsuranceFaces, which was built by Welsh firm Target Harlosh, was due to be rolled out at its Fintel business at the start of last month, ahead of a wider rollout across the company. TWR shares fell 4.7% on Friday to $1.41.


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