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Stocks to Watch: New Zealand Equity Preview

Friday 8th 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: Telecom Corp., the biggest company on the NZX50 Index, posted a full-year profit of NZ$713 million, about the middle point of its forecast range, and said profit may fall as much as 30% this year. The price of oil gained in New York yesterday.

Air New Zealand Ltd. (AIR): the national airline said passenger growth on trans-Tasman routes has stalled. The Tasman market has the potential to turn into a "bloodbath" as airlines add capacity, shorthaul manager Bruce Parton told the New Zealand Herald. Emirates will add 360 seats a day when it begins using its Airbus A380 starting on Feb. 1. The airline's stock has gained 16% in the past month.

Dominion Finance Ltd. (DFH): the shares resumed trading this week after a month-long suspension imposed by NZX Regulation after the finance company failed to file an annual report. The stock traded at 14 cents yesterday, 3.7% higher than its pre-suspension level. The stock has slumped 90% this year.

Holly Springs Investments Ltd. (HSI): the NZAX-listed investment company, whose shares trade infrequently, today said it agreed to extend the date for meeting conditions of its acquisition of Smart Media Factory. HSI also agreed to raise not less than $480,000 after the transaction, down from a previously targeted $750,000, director Brett Wilkinson aid in a statement. The shares last traded at 12 cents on April 24.

New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZO): Oil rose for the first time in four sessions in New York yesterday. Crude oil for September delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle $120.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Strategic Finance Ltd. (SFL): the finance company had its NZDX-traded securities halted pending a statement. Strategic yesterday froze payments to investors because of waning liquidity, as executives and directors attempt a management buyout.

Telecom Corp. (TEL): the biggest company on the NZX50 Index posted an annual profit of NZ$713 million, down from NZ$955 million a year earlier, excluding a gain from the sale of Yellow Pages. Profit this year will drop to between NZ$500 million and NZ$540 million, it said.

By Jonathan Underhill

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