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Stocks to watch: Affco, Contact, FPH, Kiwi Income, Nuplex

Friday 22nd January 2010

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Shares fell on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 2% after President Barack Obama proposed new rules for banks that would limit their size and trading activities. The kiwi dollar fell to 71.20 U.S. cents, continuing its slide from almost 74 cents before this week's inflation data.

Affco Holdings (NZX: AFF ): The North Island meat processor yesterday announced that chief executive Stuart Weston had resigned after three years with the company. The shares rose 2.7% to 38 cents yesterday.

Contact Energy (NZX: CEN ): The biggest utility on the NZX 50 released operating figures for December. Electricity customers fell by 500 from December to 478,000 and have declined 4.2% from a year earlier. The number of gas customers fell to 64,500 from 65,500 and fell 8.5% from December 2008. LPG customers rose by 500 to 56,000. The shares rose 7 cents to $6.16 yesterday.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (NZX: FPH ): The manufacturer of breathing masks and respirators garners almost 80% of its revenue in U.S. dollars and benefits when the New Zealand dollar falls. The kiwi dollar has fallen 2 ½ U.S. cents in the past three days amid expectations there’s less prospects of an early hike in interest rates as inflation remains benign. The shares rose 1.5% to $3.35 yesterday.

Kiwi Income Property Trust (NZX: KIP ): The owner of Auckland’s Vero Centre fell 2.9% to $1.01 yesterday, leading a second day of declines for the property sector as investors speculated about the possible impact of proposed changes to tax on property assets. AMP NZ Office Trust fell2.6% to 74 cents, Property for Industry fell 2.5% to $1.15, Goodman Property Trust declined about 2% to $1 and ING Property Trust fell 1.3% to 76 cents. The NZX Property Group Index sank 2.2%.

Nuplex Industries (NZX: NPX ): The specialty chemicals maker yesterday said it had record earnings in the first-half, exceeding its previous record of $60.6 million in the first half of the 2008. The company also plans to reinstate interim dividends. The company lifted its full-year earnings estimate to a range of $120 million to $135 million, it said after the close of trading yesterday. The shares fell 1 cent to $3.05 yesterday.

Silver Fern Farms (NZX: SFF ): The meat company told the NZX it had no material information that could account for 10 million of its December 2010 bonds changing hands yesterday, more than twice the total volume traded in all of 2009. The company’s shares trade on the Unlisted platform and were last at 55 cents on Jan. 18.

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