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Stocks to watch: APN, Cavotec, Charlie's

Wednesday 20th October 2010

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APN has signed a 10-year deal with commercial printer PMP and will close its Manukau printing plant, Cavotec is exploring a secondary listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange, while Charlie's has closed a deal with Australian supermarket, Coles.

APN News & Media (APN): The publisher of the NZ Herald and owner of The Radio Network is closing its Manukau printing plant with the loss of 150 jobs after signing at 10-year deal with commercial printer PMP to provide its glossy magazine printing services. APN said its New Zealand gloss printing operations were no longer core to its strategy. Shares were unchanged yesterday at $2.56. 

Cavotec MSL Holdings (CCC): The global engineering group and owner of Christchurch-based MoorMaster is exploring a secondary listing on the Nasdaq OMX First North stock exchange. Chief executive Ottonel Popesco said low liquidity on the NZX, coupled with falls in overall trading volumes over the past year, underlined the necessity of seeking alternative routes to capital. Shares rose 1.1% yesterday to $2.80. 

Charlie's Group (CHA): The juice maker has closed a deal with Australian supermarket chain Coles, giving it national exposure in Australia's billion-dollar juice market, lifting its shares to a 28-month high. The juice company will have eight of its brands in 750 Coles outlets from early next month. Chief executive Stefan Lepionka said the deal has the potential to double the size of its Australian unit, which had sales of $7 million and underlying earnings of $1.8 million in the year ended June 30. Shares rose 45.5% yesterday to 16 cents. 

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): The shares in the energy exploration and production company that owns a 25% stake in Pike River Coal and has chipped in substantial additional working capital in recent months fell 3.8% yesterday to $1.28, after the coal miner cut its production forecast for the year.  

Pike River Coal (PRC): The coal miner, which just got away its second shipment last month, fell 11% to a near month low of $1.05 yesterday after the company said delays in underground road construction and equipment installation would push the bulk of its hydro coal shipments out into the 2012 financial year.  

SkyCity Entertainment Group (SKC): The trans-Tasman casino operator is looking to raise up to $50 million from a capital note sale. The company is selling the notes from its treasury stock, and will pay 7.25% per annum in quarterly repayments. The notes will mature in May 2015. First NZ Capital has been appointed to manage the offer. Shares rose 1.4% yesterday to $2.96. 

Themes of the day: Stocks in Europe and the US slid after the People's Bank of China unexpectedly hiked its benchmark one-year lending and deposit rate by 25 basis points, spurring speculation that Thursday's Chinese growth and inflation figures could be uncomfortably strong.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 1.6% to 1,165.9 in afternoon trade, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.5% to 265.24 at the close, the largest drop since October 4.

Dairy commodity prices eased at Fonterra's overnight online auction, with the globalDairyTrade trade weighted index down 2.5% from the previous auction. It was the second decline in a row, following a fall of 1.3% a fortnight ago.

Uncertainty around China's economic outlook sapped appetite for the New Zealand dollar overnight, with the kiwi trading at 74.51 US cents, down from 75.33 US cents yesterday.

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