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Stocks to watch: BTU, CEN, NZO, STH, TEL, TLS, TUR

Tuesday 13th 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:

Inflationary pressures will be the spotlight today, with the local market waiting for release of food price index data for August which will be out later this morning. On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.7% and Europe's Stoxx 600 Index fell 2.5%. Commodities continued to retreat, with the 19-commodity Thompson Reuters Jefferies CRB Index falling 0.5% to 334.07.

Bathurst Resources Ltd. (BTU): The coal miner's bid to open a coking-coal mine on the West Coast could be delayed as environment group West Coast Environmental Network appeals against the government's approval of the project, according to The Australian newspaper. The report claims that even if unsuccessful, the appeal could delay the project by up to nine months. BTU shares fell 0.8% yesterday to $1.16.

Contact Energy Ltd. (CEN): The listed electricity company is incurring costs of $14 million per year by using big discounts to stop customers moving to other suppliers. The company almost doubled the discount on normal tariffs to 22% for online payments after a government sponsored programme encouraging households to shop around for the cheapest rates saw the company suffer significant customer churn. CEN shares fell 3.1% yesterday to %5.25.

New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO): The receivers of Pike River Coal announced that they have negotiated an $80 million full and final insurance payout deal which will see priority creditors paid in full. NZOG, a secured creditor, has facilitated an early payment plan for the mine’s 465 unsecured creditors which will see contractors receive the first $10,000 owed to them, and 20 cents on the dollar thereafter. NZO shares rose 4.4% yesterday to 71 cents.

Southern Travel Holdings (STH): The NZAX listed travel agency reported a narrower full-year loss of $638,000 from a loss of $932,000 a year earlier, saying disruptions from the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes pushed back its quest for profitability. STH shares were unchanged yesterday at 5 cents.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): The country's biggest phone company has tapped its former lawyer Mark Verbiest to head up a new board once the phone company carves itself in two. The Transpower chair Verbiest replaces outgoing chairman Wayne Boyd, who is to step down after the demerger is completed. TEL shares fell 1% yesterday to $2.465.

Telstra Corp. (TLS): The Australian phone company's chief executive David Thodey is urging investors to put politics and emotion aside when they vote on the national broadband network deal. The vote, which takes place on Oct. 18, could see the company receive $11 billion for moving its fixed-line customers onto the national broadband network. TLS shares fell 1.9% yesterday to $3.80 on the NZX.

Turners & Growers Ltd. (TUR): The fruit marketer controlled by Guinness Peat Group is appealing against a High Court decision to throw out its claims that Zespri has abused its power as the kiwifruit exporting monopoly. Managing director Jeff Wesley said the company believed "errors were made in the judgment and that it should be taken to the Court of Appeal". TUR shares were unchanged yesterday at $1.74.

(BusinessDesk)

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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