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Stocks to watch: APN, Fletcher, Mainfreight

Thursday 19th August 2010

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APN shares fell almost 8% yesterday, despite reporting a profit, Fletcher Building posted a $272 million profit after posting a loss last year and also raised its final dividend, while Mainfreight reported an almost 150% increase in profit in the first three months of the 2011 financial year.

APN News & Media (APN): The publisher of the NZ Herald fell 7.5% to $2.32 on the NZX yesterday after reporting a net profit of A$39 million for the six months ended June 30 from A$37.2 million a year earlier. The company said advertising revenue is recovering.

Fletcher Building (FBU): The shares rose 2.2% from a 12-month low yesterday to $7.34 after the construction and building supplies company posted a full-year profit of $272 million, from a year-earlier loss, and raised its final dividend to 15 cents a share from 14 cents.

Mainfreight (MFT): The integrated logistics company released its earning for results for the first three months of the 2011 financial year, with net profit after taxation and abnormal up 148.2% from the previous period to $6.82 million. The company, while cautious on its outlook, said all its operating regions had returned to profitability. Shares were unchanged yesterday at $6.51.

Glass Earth Gold (GEL): The mining and exploration company has reported a net loss of $866,000 for the six months to June 30, versus $1.7 million in the previous period. The company, which is still in the exploration phase, and is in the process of developing its revenue streams from mining ventures. Shares were yesterday at 38 cents.

Port of Tauranga (POT): The nation’s biggest export port is set to post full-year earnings today having forecast in June that net profit would be between $49 million and $50 million, compared with its $45.2 million year-earlier result. The figure is before an $11 million non-cash charge to reflect the tax changes. The shares rose 0.5% to $6.73 yesterday.

Tourism Holdings (THL): The campervan rental company is rated ‘buy’ by Forsyth Barr analyst Rob Mercer, according to ShareChat. While near-term earnings remain weak, the company has managed cash flow and reduced debt. Mercer said the company’s motorhome fleet is relatively young and its manufacturing unit CO Munro will be profitable this financial year. The shares were at 76 cents yesterday. 

Affco Holdings (AFF): The listed meat company yesterday recommended investors reject a 37 cents-a-share offer from major shareholder Talleys saying the price doesn't reflect the value of the company. Toocooya Nominees, controlled by the Spencer family, has agreed to sell its 23.5% stake to Talley's Group and the deal would take Talley's stake in Affco to 76.3%. The shares were unchanged at 37 cents yesterday.

Themes of the day: Statistics New Zealand is set to release Producer Price Index data for the June quarter today. In the previous period to March output prices for all industries in the PPI rose 1.8%, following four consecutive quarterly falls. US stocks gained amid takeover speculation for raw material producers and homebuilders following BHP Billiton's hostile bid for Canada's Potash of Saskatchewan.

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