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Stocks to watch: Air NZ, Cavalier, HLG

Monday 27th September 2010

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Air NZ chief Rob Fyfe told shareholders on Friday the company risks having to close some routes if the alliance with Virgin Blue falls through, Cavalier is expecting to add $24.5 million in revenue over the next two years as a result of the Canterbury earthquake, while Hallenstein Glasson posted a 53% gain in net profit.

Air New Zealand (AIR): Chief executive Rob Fyfe told shareholders at their annual meeting on Friday the national carrier risks having to close down routes if the proposed alliance with Virgin Blue Holdings is turned down. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission knocked back the bid in a draft decision earlier this month. The shares slipped 0.8% to $1.28 in trading on Friday.

Cavalier (CAV): New Zealand’s only listed carpet maker is expected to add $24.5 million in revenue and $4 million in operating earnings to the books over the next two years as a result of the Canterbury earthquake, according to Morningstar analyst Nachi Moghe, quoted on the ShareChat website. Moghe’s figures are based on an estimate that 20,000 homes will need to replace their carpets and Cavalier’s 35% market share. Shares rose 0.9% on Friday to $3.19.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings (HLG): The clothing retailer posted a 53% increase in net profit to $19.6 million for the 12 months to August 1. The company attributed the results to tighter inventory controls, better product offerings and the stronger New Zealand dollar. Shares were unchanged on Friday at $4.15.

Postie Plus Group (PPG): The clothing retailer reported on Friday a 6.5% drop in full-year pretax earnings and said retailing will continue to struggle through to Christmas. Better trading in 2011 should lead to resumption in dividends. The shares were unchanged on Friday at 32 cents.

Pulse Utilities (PLU): The electricity retailer trimmed its forecast EBITDA loss to $900,000 for the year ending March 31, from a previous estimate of $1.25 million The following year the company expects to report EBITDA of more than $6.5 million. The shares last traded on Sept. 3 at 44 cents.

Renaissance (RNS): The computer retailer plans to develop a range of computer devices including its own-branded tablet computers that could compete with Apple's iPad, according to press reports. The devices will be sold through a new chain of “YooBee” concept stores. The company’s market share has been under pressure recently as Apple and other major computer brands look to sell their products directly to the customer, and skip out the middleman. Shares were unchanged on Friday at 36 cents.

Tourism Holdings (THL): The campervan rental company said current performance and booking trends “see a softening of the backpacker and UK markets in particular.” Chief executive Grant Webster says in the annual report that the strong kiwi and Australian dollars are also contributing to “lower on-the-ground spend once visitors arrive.” Webster said 2011 “is expected to show minimal growth from a rental revenue and visitation perspective.” The stock was unchanged at 80 cents on Friday.

Affco Holdings (AFF): Talley's Group, the frozen food manufacturer, has increased its stake in takeover target Affco to 86% after more shareholders accepted the company's offer of 37 cents a share. Shares were unchanged on Friday at 36 cents.

Themes of the day: US stocks rose for a fourth week after data and corporate results put further distance to the potential for a ‘double dip' recession. If the rally on Wall Street extends through this week, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index would record its best month since March 2000, and the best September for stocks since 1939, according to Reuters' data. The kiwi dollar rose 0.7% to 73.35 US amid the increased appetite for riskier assets.

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