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Stocks to watch: NEw Zealand equity preview

Tuesday 25th November 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 rallied in the US and Europe after the American federal government provided Citigroup with a US$20 billion injection of government aid and protection from losses on US$306 billion of toxic, mortgage-related assets. Also helping stocks in Europe to rally, the UK government announced the biggest round of tax cuts and fiscal spending in 20 years to help haul its economy out of recession.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (FPH): Schroder Investment Management Australia reduced its holding in the healthcare products maker to 6.16% from 7.8% according to a filing today. The shares fell 7 cents to $2.98 yesterday and have fallen 15% this year.
Fletcher Building (FBU): Fletcher Building is being sued for at least US$21 million in the New York Supreme Court over a dispute regarding additional payments for the benchtop maker Formica. Fletcher is trying to raise up to $200 million through a capital notes issue. The shares rose 2.2% to $5.54 yesterday after an ANZ Bank report showed housing affordability had picked up in its latest monthly survey.
Lyttelton Port (LPC):
Christchurch City Holdings has lifted its stake in the port company to 77.5%, nearing its goal of 78.2%. The city offered $2.75 for the shares. percent of Lyttelton Port Company. They traded at $2.65 yesterday. Port Otago owns 15.3% of Lyttelton.
New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZO): Crude oil for January delivery rose 9.2% to US$54.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The stock rose 4 cents to $1.21 yesterday and is up about 5% this year.
Pumpkin Patch (PPL): Shares of the children’s clothing chain rose 14% to 91 cents yesterday after the company said it will buy back about 5% of its stock over 12 months to help lift the price. The retailer has tumbled 70% this year on weakening demand. “The buyback reflects our belief in the true underlying value of the Pumpkin Patch brand and our confidence in the company's continued financial performance into the future,” chief executive Maurice Prendergast said today. Earlier this month he said profit may fall amid the most difficult trading conditions he had seen in 15 years as chief executive.
Richina Pacific (RPL): The diversified company soared 38% to 33 cents yesterday, after announcing late Friday that it will seek shareholder approval to reorganise into four separate divisions with separately trading shares. The company would amalgamate assets such as Shanghai Leather into the parent among the changes and its existing shares would be delisted.

Nuplex (NPX):
The maker of resins and ingredients used to make paints, inks and adhesives today said its results  for October were less thanm expected and there has been no recovery during November. "A continuation of this pattern will see full year results fall short of our previous expectations,"  the company said. The stock fell 5 cents to $4.50 yesterday and has dropped 34% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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