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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Monday 17th November 2008

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The following stocks may be active on the New Zealand exchange after developments since the close of trading Friday.

Themes of the day: Stocks tumbled on Wall Street on Friday, rounding out their second weekly slide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 3.8%, with Intel, Home Depot and JPMorgan Chase all falling more than 7%.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): The medical equipment manufacturer has said earnings are expected to be given a boost from the weakening New Zealand dollar, which was at 55.10 US cents today, as the company gains about 85% of its revenue in US dollars. F&P Healthcare reports its first-half results on November 20. The shares fell 1 cent to $3.19 on Friday and has gained 11% in the past three months, while the NZX 50 fell 17%.

Heritage Gold NZ (HGD): The gold miner on Friday said it had applied for a mining permit on its Talisman and Dominion Knoll exploration permits at Karangahake, near Waihi. Karangahake, about 12 kilometres west of the township of Waihi includes the historic Talisman Mine which produced over 4 million ounces of gold, the company said.

"The project economics look very favourable but are subject to the usual financial qualifications and are obviously impacted by the price of gold," the company said. The shares last traded at 1.5 cents and have tumbled 75% this year.

Nuplex Industries (NPX): The resins and adhesives maker named Ian Davis as chief financial officer. Davis is currently CFO at Tenix. The shares rose 2% to $5 on Friday and have dropped 28% this year.

Plus SMS Holdings (PLS): Former chief executive Tiensch, who was dismissed last month after tendering his resignation, has filed legal action in a Texas court seeking unspecified damages, the Sundar Star-Times reported. The company's shares last traded on November 10 at 2.9 cents and have declined 60% this year.

Rakon (RAK): The manufacturer of components for navigation systems tumbled 26% to $1.25 on Friday after reporting a 66% decline in first-half profit on operating losses in France and weaker world demand as the global economy slows.

Tourism Holdings (THL): The campervan operator fell 3.6% top 80 cents on Friday and has tumbled 65% this year. Tourist operators may be among beneficiaries of the change of government as Prime Minister-elect John Key will take the tourism portfolio and may encourage increased funding for the industry, according to Guy Hallwright, analyst at Forsyth Barr.

Turners Auctions (TUA): New Zealand's largest auctioneer of secondhand vehicles on Friday said profit will more than halve this year after a slump in sales of imported used vehicles. The stock, which is 19.4% owned by Guinness Peat Group, has fallen 43% this year. It was unchanged at 63 cents on Friday.

By Jonathan Underhill

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