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Stocks to watch: Comvita, NZOG, PGW, Pike Coal River

Thursday 25th February 2010

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PGG Wrightson today reported a return to profit.  Comvita shares rise on announcing a completed global licensing deal and NZ Oil & Gas reports first half loss. National Bank’s Business Outlook survey is scheduled for release later today.

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZX: NZO ): The oil company yesterday reported a $6.5 million first-half loss, from a year-earlier profit of $54 million, reflecting reduced volumes from the Tui oilfield, lower global oil prices, the cost of writing off the Albacore exploration well, and its share of losses from Pike River Coal. The stock dipped 1.9% to $1.54 yesterday.

Comvita (NZX: CVT ): The medicinal honey products developer rose 3.5% to $1.80 yesterday after announcing it had completed a global licensing and manufacturing deal with Nasdaq-listed Derma Science Inc. for its Medihoney wound-care line. The shares have doubled in the past 12 months.

ING Medical Properties Trust (NZX: IMP ): The specialist health clinic property investor is rated a ‘hold’ by Forsyth Barr analyst Jeremy Simpson, according to the ShareChat website. Simpson values the stock at $1.21 and lifted his full-year profit forecast 8% and his 2011 forecast by 3%, after a better-than-expected first-half result. The stock was last at $1.19. 

Metlifecare (NZX: MET ): The retirement village operator returned to profit in the first half, posting net income of $17.3 million after it recognised an accounting gain on the value of its properties. The shares trade infrequently and were last at $2.20 yesterday.

PGG Wrightson  (NZX: PGW ): New Zealand’s biggest rural services company today named John Anderson as chairman of a revamped board and reported a $4.1 million first-half profit, from a year-earlier loss marked by one-time charges, on reduced spending by farmers and costs to refinance debt. The shares fell to 58 cents yesterday.

Pike River Coal (NZX: PRC ): The South Island coal mine developer yesterday said it plans to raise $50 million selling shares and issue convertible bonds and a coal contract option to its biggest shareholder, New Zealand Oil & Gas. Delays at the mine site have slowed its first coal sales, depriving it of revenue to meet costs. The stock fell 4.3% to 90 cents yesterday.

Sky City Entertainment Group (NZX: SKC ): The casino operator is rated a ‘buy’ by Marcus Curley, an analyst at Goldman Sachs JB Were, according to the ShareChat website. Profits were lifted by growth in operating earnings at its Adelaide and Darwin casinos and lower interest costs. Sky's good cost control suggests any incremental gaming revenues will drive strong earnings growth, he said. The shares fell 5 cents to $3.19 yesterday.


Economic themes of the day: Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that interest rates in the world’s largest economy will stay low for longer. Stocks on Wall Street gained, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.9%.

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