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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Friday 1st August 2008

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

Themes of the day: US gross domestic product rose at a less-than-expected 1.9% annual pace in the second quarter, stoking concern the world's biggest economy may be slipping into recession. US stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rounding out its second monthly decline. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Commodity Index had its worst monthly decline since 1980 in July, falling 10%.

OceanaGold Corp. (OGC): The gold miner posted a net loss of US$19.2 million in the three months ended June 30, from a year-earlier profit of US$16.5 million, reflecting the impact of unrealised hedge gains and losses in each period. EBITDA was $1.1 million in the quarter, down from $2.8 million.

Propertyfinance Group (PFG): The company hasn't yet filed its annual report for the year ended March 31 and its shares will be suspended from trading from August 8 if the report isn't filed by then, NZX Regulation said in a statement. The stock last traded at 10 cents on the NZAX on July 25.

TrustPower (TPW): The utility controlled by Infratil yesterday said it expects strong earnings growth through this year after a weaker first-quarter performance. The stock has dropped 8% this year and was at NZ$7.96 yesterday.

Vector (VCT): Moody's Investors Service revised the outlook on Vector's Baa1 rating to "stable" from "developing" after the sale of the utility's Wellington electricity network for $785 million. The sale proceeds will be used to repay debt. Vector stock has gained almost 14% in the past month.

Warehouse Group (WHS): Founder Stephen Tindall may revive his attempt to take the retailer private after the Court of Appeal blocked Woolworths and Foodstuffs from taking over the company. Deutsche Bank analyst Kristan Walker said Tindall and Pacific Equity Partners could offer to buy the combined 20% stake the two supermarket chains own, adding to Tindall's 50% stake, The New Zealand Herald reported.

By Jonathan Underhill



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