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Stocks to watch: New Zealand equity preview

Wednesday 22nd October 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: Stocks on Wall Street fell on earnings disappointments from tech companies including Sun Microsystems Inc. and Texas Instruments. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, the world's largest copper producer, fell after the price of the metal dropped below US$2 a pound for the first time in about three years. The Federal Reserve announced a further US$540 billion of loans to help money-market mutual funds meet surging redemptions.

Auckland International Airport (AIA): The nation's busiest gateway said the $30 million retail component of its $80 million bond offer is fully subscribed in what the company described as a sign of investor confidence in difficult credit markets. The eight-year bonds will probably have a coupon of 8%. The stock traded at NZ$1.85 yesterday and is down 36% this year.

Cavotec MSL Holdings (CCC): The manufacturer said it
successfully completed a two weeks of trials of its PCAir cooling system at Airbus's Toulouse production plant. The stock jumped 20 cents to NZ$3.20 yesterday and is down 32% this year.

Downer EDI (DOW): The Australian construction and engineering consultancy said its mining division has been awarded contracts totaling A$90 million for work at Wesfarmers' Curragh mine in Queensland. The work brings the value of new mining contracts and renewals this year to over A$560 million. The shares jumped 13% to A$5.35 on the ASX in Sydney. The New Zealand shares haven't traded recently.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): The medical equipment maker today said it has expanded its CPAP flow generator and masks for treating obstructive sleep apnea. The company will launch the new products at the Medtrade Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia next week, it said. The stock rose 12 cents to NZ$3.27 yesterday and has slipped 5% this year.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil fell 4.5% as the US dollar gained against the euro and traders speculated demand may wane. Crude for November delivery slid US$3.36 to US$70.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price has slumped more than 50% from its record high US$147.27 in July.

Wakefield Health (WFD): The hospital operator gained Wellington City Council approval to redevelop its Bowen Hospital site. The first stage, called the "Bowen Centre", will provide more consulting rooms for specialists, a new endoscopy suite, expanded radiology and more car parks, the company said. Stage two includes new operating theatres. The stock fell 4% to NZ$8.15 yesterday and is little changed this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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