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Stocks to watch: Allied Farmers, Farming Systems, LME

Tuesday 10th August 2010

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Allied Farmers' finance unit has put capital raising plans on hold due to speculation it breached its trust deed, NZ Farming Systems is telling shareholders not to sell to Olam International, while L&M Energy is trucking along successfully with funding for its coal seam gas pilot.

Allied Farmers (ALF): The finance company which bought the Hanover debt book last year tumbled 22% to 3.5 cents yesterday after the company put plans to raise $19.3 million on hold because its Allied Nationwide Finance unit breached its trust deed, forcing it to pull its prospectus. The parent company disputes the breach and the finance unit's accounts are currently being audited.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZS): The South American dairy farm operator, which is facing a takeover bid from Olam International at 55 cents a share, has advised shareholders not to sell. The board said it will be releasing advice to shareholders on August 23, when the company releases its annual results. The shares were unchanged yesterday at 55 cents.

L&M Energy (LME): The company's oil and gas programmes are moving successfully forward with enough funding to complete its coal seam gas (CSG) pilot in late 2010, according to John Kidd, an analyst at McDouall Stuart. Since March L&M has drilled three of its six CSG permits, two of which encountered coal deposits. The stock traded unchanged yesterday at 11 cents.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): The medical equipment manufacturer rose 1.4% to $2.94 yesterday on indications of better market prospects after its leading competitor, ResMed, reported a 30% jump in full-year earnings and a two-for-one stock split.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Shares in the oil and gas exploration and mining company could be set for a boost as oil rose for the first time in four sessions on expectations that the Fed might signal its readiness to print more money to support the faltering US economic recovery. US crude for September delivery rose 31 cents to US$81.01 a barrel at 1.25pm EDT. The stock was unchanged at $1.21 yesterday.

Telecom (TEL): New Zealand's largest phone company climbed 3% to $2.08 yesterday on speculation it will find a way to participate in the government's rollout of high-speed broadband. Telecom is "looking much more likely that they will be able to put in a bid for the government's fibre rollout," said Craig Brown, senior investment analyst for ING New Zealand.

Themes of the day: Government figures today on credit and debit card spending in July will provide the latest evidence of consumer spending, a part of the economy that has remained subdued as households deleverage and kiwis fret about job security. Shares rose on Wall Street in subdued trading ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, amid speculation the US central bank may renew efforts to stimulate the world's biggest economy.

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